Janet de Botton rss

Janet de Botton is The Spectator’s bridge columnist.


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


23 August 2014

It’s August — that time of year again — and I am in France, as usual, on my annual holiday. Hot sun, delicious food and drink, yet still the bitter… Read more


9 August 2014

Two very exciting tournaments drew to a close last week. The first was the Spingold, the main teams event in the Las Vegas Summer National, the final of which saw… Read more


26 July 2014

Richard Selway was one of the first friends I made in the bridge world. Long-standing ‘host’ at TGR’s, he was hilariously funny, irreverent, kind, a sensational natural player, and totally… Read more


12 July 2014

The European Team Championships drew to a close last week and the most successful country overall was …England! The doughty Seniors took Gold, the Women took Silver and the Open… Read more


28 June 2014

I’m not trying to pretend it will make up for the drubbing England took in the World Cup, but if you want to feel a bit better about our sportsmen… Read more


14 June 2014

The final match in the second division of Young Chelsea’s London Super League was as exciting as it gets. Two teams (out of ten) were going to be promoted, and… Read more


31 May 2014

It is always exciting when a strong new team’s tournament enters the calendar, and the inaugural Balaton Invitational, held outside Budapest at Lake Balaton, looks set to become an annual… Read more


17 May 2014

The Schapiro Spring Foursomes, held in early May in Stratford-upon-Avon, is one of the great tournaments and this time it attracted more international world stars than ever before. The legendary… Read more


3 May 2014

Somewhere highly intellectual I read that they were bringing back the Generation Game, recalling, in all their excruciating mundanity,  Brucie’s catchphrases. I had to eat my own snootiness at the… Read more


19 April 2014

I have always been drawn to a bit of a rogue and I must admit I found the coughing German Doctors, banned by the WBF for cheating, highly amusing. At… Read more


5 April 2014

Dallas to me was an Eighties TV series with huge shoulder pads until I arrived there to play the American Spring Nationals last week. The American Nationals are bigger, better… Read more