Bridge rules Bridge strategy & bidding Bridge championships

Nail Life Master Open Pairs

The Nail Life Master Open Pairs is a national bridge championship held at the fall American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) North American Bridge Championship (NABC).

The championship is a Matchpoints pairs event restricted to players with a Life Master rating. It consists of two qualifying sessions and two final sessions, typically starting on the first Friday of the NABC.


The Nail Life Master Open Pairs has its roots in 1961 when a new championship event was created for male players with a rank of National Master or higher.

In 1963, the rank for eligibility was increased to Life Master and in 1990, it became an open event so that female players with Life Masters status could also compete. Before and after opening to women, this tournament and the LM Women's Pairs have been structured and scheduled in parallel. Several women enter the open event and 1987 Women's winner Jill Meyers is a two-time Open winner.

The event is named after Bobby Nail, a 1974 winner.


Winners of Life Master Men's Pairs (1961-1989)
Year Winners Runners-up
 1961  G. Gard Hays, Max Manchester Martin J. Cohn, Hampton Hume
1962 Sam Fuoto, Victor Mitchell Hal Kandler, Kelsey Petterson
1963 Sami Kehela, Eric Murray Harry Fishbein, Charles J. Solomon
1964 Charles Coon, Bobby Goldman 2/3. Mervin Key, Harold Rockaway
2/3. Jack Blair, William Christian
1965 Paul Soloway, Alex Tschekaloff Edgar Kaplan, Victor Mitchell
1966 Carl Hudecek, Ray Zoller Gaylor Kasle, Ed Theus
1967 Harlow S. Lewis, Peter Pender Donald R. Faskow, Bill Flannery
1968 Henry Bethe, John Solodar Don Pearson, John Swanson
1969 Chuck Burger, Jimmy Cayne   Norman H. Fischer, Christopher G. Jeans  
1970 Ron Andersen, Hugh MacLean Curtis Smith, E. Lowell Yost
1971 Alan Sontag, Peter Weichsel Steve Robinson, Kit Woolsey
1972 Les Bart, Marc Jacobus Steve Robinson, Kit Woolsey
1973 Edgar Kaplan, Norman Kay Roxy Violin, Ed Weiner
1974 Gerald L. Michaud, Bobby Nail John Gerber, Daniel Kaim
1975 Steve Lapides, Walt Walvick Marc Culbertson, Robert Visokey
1976 Roger Bates, John Mohan Steve Altman, Thomas M. Smith
1977 David Hoffner, David Schroeder Roger Bates, John Mohan
1978 Norm Coombs, Tom Hodapp Kevin Castner, Mike Lawrence
1979 Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell Zeke Jabbour, Dennis McGarry
1980   Craig Janitschke, Jan Janitschke   Bob Hamman, Paul Swanson
1981 Roger Abelson, Mike Levinson Bob Hamman, Donald P. Krauss
1982 Bobby Lipsitz, Dan Gerstman Lew Mathe, Harold Guiver
1983 Marty Bergen, Larry N. Cohen Mitch Chandler, Cliff Bishop
1984 Per-Olof Sundelin, Peter Pender Jim Becker, Howard Chandross
1985 John Mohan, Roger Bates Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell
1986 Jim Krekorian, Paul Kiefer Marty Bergen, Larry N. Cohen
1987 Bart Bramley, Lou Bluhm Leslie West, David Ashley
1988 Bobby Levin, Larry T. Cohen Glen Lublin, Peter Boyd
1989 Steve Lapides, Walt Walvick Peter Weichsel, Roger Stern

Before and after opening to women in 1990, this event has been structured and scheduled parallel to the LM Women's Pairs.

Winners of Life Master Open Pairs (1990-)
Year Winners Runners-up
 1990  Zia Mahmood, Hugh Ross   Tommy Gullberg, Michael Polowan  
1991 Zia Mahmood, Hugh Ross Larry N. Cohen, David Berkowitz
1992 Mike Kamil, Michael Rosenberg Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell
1993 Brad Moss, Ravindra Murthy Ed Nagy, Jeff Polisner
1994 Bobby Levin, Richard Katz Michael Polowan, Steve Robinson
1995 Bart Bramley, John Sutherlin Mark Itabashi, Gene Simpson
1996 Walter Schafer Jr., Ron L. Smith Michael Schreiber, Curtis Cheek
1997 Jeff Schuett, Kerry Smith Dennis Kasle, Garey Hayden
1998 JoAnna Stansby, Lew Stansby Ron Smith, Richard Schwartz
1999 Steve Catlett, Paul Soloway JoAnna Stansby, Lew Stansby
2000 Steve Garner, Jill Meyers Zia Mahmood, Chuck Burger
2001 Piotr Gawryś, Jacek Pszczoła Zia Mahmood, Sidney Lazard
2002 Eric Greco, Geoff Hampson Larry N. Cohen, Steve Weinstein
2003 Kyle Larsen, Jo Morse Fred Gitelman, Jay Borker
2004   Richard Pavlicek, Richard Pavlicek Jr.   Jonathan Green, Mark Aquino
2005 Zia Mahmood, Jill Meyers Bobby Levin, Louk Verhees
2006 Steve Garner, Howard Weinstein John Armstrong, Paul Hackett
2007 Björn Fallenius, Zia Mahmood Alex Perlin, Michael Prahin
2008 Nikolay Demirev, Ralph Katz John Diamond, Eric Rodwell
2009 Martin Andresen, Tor Helness Hemant Lall, Justin Lall
2010 Kazuo Furuta, Hiroaki Miura Fred Gitelman, Brad Moss

Read more:


"ACBL - NABC Winners". ACBL. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 

List of previous winners, Page 8 Daily Bulletin (PDF) 81-1 (1), November 21, 2008 

2008 winners, Page 1 Daily Bulletin (PDF) 81-3 (3), November 23, 2008