The North American Bridge Championships (NABC) are three yearly bridge conventions sponsored by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). The host city can be located in Canada or in the United States.
- The spring NABC normally takes place in March.
- The summer NABC normally takes place in July.
- The fall NABC normally takes place in November.
Each even will usually run for eleven days, and contain both the main championship and various side contests. Examples of popular side contests are matchpoint pairs and knockout teams for women, seniors and anyone (open). Some contests are open to those with a certain amount of masterpoints.
The Vanderbilt Cup
The Vanderbilt Cup is one of the premier events. The National Knock-Out Team Championship winner is awarded with the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup trophy. This is an open contest for national teams. The trophy was donated by illustrious bridge player Harold S. Vanderbilt in 1928. He actually won the cup twice himself; one time in 1932 and then another time in 1940.
Until 1958, The Vanderbilt Cup was not a part of the NABC. It was a free-standing championship and it was always held in New York. Nowadays, the Vanderbilt Cup is a part of the Spring NABC.
The Spingold Trophy
The Spingold Trophy is another of the premier events, an open and seeded knock-out tournament also known as the Master Team championship. This contest is played during the Summer NABC, usually over seven days. Each is one round, comprised by four sessions of 16 boards. The contest is known to attract world-class bridge players from around the globe, and is widely seen as a tougher and more prestigious competition than even the World Championship for teams.
The roots of this competition can be traced back to 1930’s, when teams competed for the Asbury Park Trophy in the Challenge Knockout Teams contest. In 1934, 1936 and 1937 separate Masters Team-of-Four events were held, but in 1938 a merger took place and the result was named Spingold Master Knockout Teams, after Nathan Spingold who had donated the trophy back in 1934.
Once upon a time, the Spingold Master Knockout Teams contest was a double elimination event that would typically last nine or ten sessions. It was scored by International Match Points, and was only open to players with a minimum of 100 masterpoints. In 1965, three qualifying sessions followed by single elimination knockout matches replaced the double elimination. Today, the three qualifying sessions have been reduced to two qualifying sessions.
Since 2001, Mini-Spingold I and Mini-Spingold II have been arranged. Mini-Spingold I is open to players with less than 5,000 masterpoints, while Mini-Spingold II is open to players with 1500 masterpoints or less.
Reisinger Memorial Trophy
The most prestigious contest during the Fall NABC is the Reisinger Memorial Trophy, an open contest for teams using board-a-match scoring. It is scored with two qualifying sessions, two semifinal sessions and two final sessions.
The trophy was donated by the Greater New York Bridge Association in 1965 and was named in honor of Curt H. Reisinger, who had passed away the year before. Prior to 1965, the Chicago trophy was used and the contest was a four-session championship instead of a six-session.
The Reisinger Memorial Trophy event can trace its roots back to the 1929 North American Open Team Championship. This was the year when the Chicago trophy was donated by the Auction Bridge Club of Chicago. It should be noted however, that the very first Vanderbilt Cup, played in 1928, used board-a-match scoring.