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Nickell Wins USBC

The team captained by Nick Nickell, trailing 98-76 at the halfway point, posted huge gains in the fourth and fifth sets to win the United States Bridge Championship 216-190, over the squad led by Aubrey Strul.

The win gives Nickell the right to represent the U.S. in the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing, China, starting Oct. 3, in the event formerly known as the World Bridge Team Olympiad.

Nickell played with Richard Freeman, Bob Hamman, Chris Compton, Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell. Eric Kokish served as coach.

Strul's teammates were Mike Becker, Larry Cohen, David Berkowitz, Chip Martel and Lew Stansby.

Down by 24 IMPs with 60 deals to play, Nickell won the fourth set of 15 deals 39-8 and followed with a 31-7 fifth segment to lead by 45 IMPs with 15 deals to play. Strul won the sixth and final set 34-19, but it was not enough.

The tournament was played in Palm Beach Gardens FL.

The Nickell team has won three Bermuda Bowls, the last victory coming in Monte Carlo in 2003. The team was second in the event in 2005.