Janet de Botton rss

Janet de Botton is The Spectator’s bridge columnist.


22 August 2015

I have great respect for top French bridge players but I think it’s fair to say they don’t go in for dazzling displays of bravado and brilliance; neither do they… Read more


8 August 2015

Sweden’s flagship event is the brilliantly well organised Chairman’s Cup held in Orebro, attracting great players from all over Europe.  Unfortunately I couldn’t go so I had to content myself… Read more


25 July 2015

Moving house is traumatic but moving bridge club is worse. Young Chelsea left Barkston Gardens, its home for over 30 years, exactly two years ago, and since then we have… Read more


11 July 2015

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. The European Championships in Tromso kicked off with a week of Mixed and by the end there was no disguising the contempt of… Read more


27 June 2015

A feast of bridge is looming! Tromso in Norway is host to the Open European Championships starting on Saturday, and wild horses couldn’t stop me going. We kick off with… Read more


13 June 2015

Andrew (Bertie) Black started his bridge life many moons ago but stopped to found Betfair, which became the world’s largest internet betting exchange. Well now, some 15 years later, and… Read more


30 May 2015

If you live in or around London you can play a pairs duplicate every night (or day) of the week to suit your standard. Teams is another story. Until the… Read more


16 May 2015

The best EBU tournament of the year is, IMHO, the Schapiro Spring Foursomes, held at the beginning of May in lovely Stratford-upon-Avon. The format is double knockout with one team… Read more


2 May 2015

When I first started playing bridge, about 15 years ago, I ‘trained’ at TGR’s rubber bridge club, which was located in a dingy basement in Bayswater Road. I didn’t notice… Read more


18 April 2015

When I was growing up, the loudest, most explosive arguments erupted when my parents played bridge together. Not surprisingly, when my father offered to teach me I made my excuses… Read more


4 April 2015

Wednesday night is league night. Sacrosanct. I’ve missed only one in seven years and that was when my daughter was giving birth. Priorities, you know. But last Wednesday I had… Read more


21 March 2015

You either love rubber bridge or you hate it. Personally I love it: I love the freedom it gives you to play when it suits you. I love the fact… Read more


7 March 2015

What a week it’s been. On Thursday night the incomparable Terry Hewett held her annual charity bonanza Night of the Stars in which 52 bridge luminaries (well, 51 and me)… Read more


21 February 2015

Couples that play together stay together is not a mantra you hear too often in the bridge world. Indeed most couples who play together come closer to murder than to… Read more


7 February 2015

There is something decidedly Groundhog Day about the international bridge calendar. The second weekend of January is TGR’s Auction Pairs and the last weekend is Iceland’s wildly popular four-day Pairs… Read more


24 January 2015

2015 got off to a rollicking start with TGR’s sixth Auction Pairs — chief rollickers being the Norwegians, whose unparalleled appetite for the sauce and disdain for sleep is matched… Read more


10 January 2015

The last tournament of the year is the hugely popular one-day Swiss Teams in the EBU’s Year End Congress in London. I normally play all four days (two pairs events… Read more


13 December 2014

Pierre Zimmermann, captain of the hugely successful Monaco team, plays with Franck Multon and they are probably the best sponsor/professional partnership in the world. Franck occasionally partners a somewhat less… Read more


29 November 2014

Last weekend saw the start of the Tollemache qualifier, the inter-county teams of eight championship. Thirty-five teams competed in four groups, the top two in each group going through to… Read more


15 November 2014

It’s always good to know where you draw the line and my line, drawn in thick black ink, was going to China to play the World Championships. I last went… Read more


1 November 2014

Every obituary written about Tony Priday, who died recently aged 92, said what a class act he was. I would like to add my tuppence to that observation. When I… Read more


18 October 2014

The EBU’s Premier League is upon us again, the pain of relegation ever-present as my team battles it out in the second division to try to finish in the top… Read more


4 October 2014

I don’t know about the only gay in the village but I am starting to feel like the last woman standing. In the two most recent events I have played,… Read more


20 September 2014

Many top bridge players are also keen poker fans, and when a poker star infiltrates their backyard there is a definite ripple of excitement. So it was at the hugely… Read more


6 September 2014

One person who lets out a whoop of delight when I am on holiday is my saintly partner, Artur Malinowski. He gets a holiday too — from me and my… Read more