48 English Bridge April 2016 www.ebu.co.uk
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
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
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 . . .