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USBC Underway to Pick International Team

The process of selecting an open team for the world bridge championships in Lillie, France, began on Friday in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg IL. The tournament is the United States Bridge Championship, organized by the United States Bridge Federation. It features two days of round-robin play among 15 teams, switching to the knockout phase - the round of 16 - on Sunday.

The top-seeded teams - No. 1 Nick Nickell and No. 2 John Diamond - have byes to the round of eight. The Martin Fleisher squad, seeded No. 3, has a bye to the round of 16.

Only one squad will qualify to represent the U.S. in the National Open Teams in Lille. Bridge will be one of five disciplines featured in the World Mind Sports Games. The others are chess, xing qi (Chinese chess), go and draughts (checkers). The tournament in Lille will be the second World Mind Sports Games, which debuted in Beijing, China, shortly after the 2008 Olympic Games in that city.

Bridge Base Online will begin broadcasting knockout matches in the USBC on Sunday.

Information about the tournament is available at www.usbf.org.