Professor Samantha Punch tells the BAMSA story

It all began in 2013 when I decided to interview my bridge heroes about their experience of playing bridge at the top level. My plan was to interview a Scottish player who was not very well, John Matheson, because I wanted to capture his views. Previously a GP, John said to me, ‘You want to get this interview before I die,’ which to some extent was the case. (He is still coaching younger players but no longer playing because of illness). He really enjoyed the interview and when I sent him the transcript, he gave me £300 to do more interviews with top players.

At the time I was on sabbatical in the United States, which gave me the perfect opportunity to ask some of the best players in the world for their views on bridge. I adapted John’s pilot interview to incorporate a full range of bridge topics including emotions, gender, couple’s bridge, partnership and team dynamics. My first candidate was the late Justin Lall because I was playing a Regional in Las Vegas and he was there too. I thought he would be a fantastic person to start with because I had read his blogs about bridge and he had interesting views.