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48 English Bridge April 2016

DAVID and Heather Bakhshi are well known

bridge players, with David playing regularly for

England. Together, David and Heather have done

the seemingly impossible . . . they have children

who play bridge . . . and not just the odd game . . .

Liam Sanderson (16) and Jasmine Bakhshi (11)

have played for the English Junior teams many

times with great success. How have they done it?

What age did you start learning bridge?

Jasmine: I started playing with my family when I

was nine years old.

Liam: I started learning bridge when I was about

nine years old. I remember watching David on

Vugraph and playing BridgeMaster hands on BBO.

Heather: My father loved bridge but did not play

much when my brothers and I were growing up. I

was in my early thirties when I first learned. I read

loads of bridge books and signed up for weekly

lessons with Corrine Poitou, and she encouraged

me to play duplicates. I loved it.

David: Neither of my parents played bridge, but

when I was 15, I was introduced to the game by one

of my school teachers, Ian Johns.

Do you play social bridge at home or are you

always OUT playing bridge?

David: Before Liam and Jasmine became

interested I didn't play any social bridge, but we

now play a few hands at home when the kids want

to get some extra practice.

Do you have siblings who don't play?

Jasmine: I live with my brother and parents and

together we have a perfect four.

Is it difficult to keep even tempers when playing

with siblings and family?

Liam: The first time I played with Jasmine I felt

quite stressed because I wanted her to do well.

Normally I don't have any trouble staying calm

regardless of who I partner.

David and Heather - how did you manage to whet

their appetites?

Heather: I think introducing bridge as part of

regular family games at home has encouraged them

to view the game as fun. Some of my most cherished

childhood memories are of my family playing card

games and board games. Thus, I've tried to do the

same for Liam and Jasmine. Bridge is one of many

games we play as a family.

The introduction of the U15 squad last year was

enormously motivating for both of them. Meeting

other children their own age who play bridge has

been terrific. I hope the EBU continues to support

this age group.

Have you managed to persuade friends initially

made outside the bridge world to join in?

Jasmine: Yes, I have been encouraging a group of

my school friends who are keen to learn.

Liam: Yes, I have encouraged several friends at

school, some of them have joined the England

Junior squad.

Do you play bridge at school? Is it thought very cool

to have played for England at such young ages?

Liam: At school, I play regularly in the evenings

with a few friends. If we don't have four, we will play

on BBO with a robot. This year we have a Friday

bridge club for the first time where we play socially

and in organised matches versus other schools.

Students and teachers are always positive and

interested about competitive bridge.

What do you like most about playing bridge? How

would you recommend getting children your age to

learn how to play bridge?

Jasmine: Because my Dad teaches and plays

bridge I have met lots of very nice people who he

knows. Since I've been playing junior bridge myself,

I've now started making lots of my own friends and

I am really enjoying the social side of the game.

Liam: I enjoy the puzzle-solving aspect of the

The Bakhshi family

In their footsteps . . .

In their footsteps . . .


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