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Rixi markus

The meaning of «rixi markus»

"Rixi" Markus[1] MBE (27 June 1910 – 4 April 1992) was an Austrian and British international contract bridge player. She won five world titles, and was the first woman to become a World Grand Master within the World Bridge Federation.[2] "In a 60-year career", Alan Truscott wrote in a bridge column 15 weeks after her death, "she had far more victories with partners of assorted nationalities than anyone else has ever had."[3] She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for contributions to bridge in 1974.

Markus was born Erika (Rika) Scharfstein into a prosperous Austrian Jewish family in Gura Humorului, Bukovina.[4] Now in Romania, Bukovina was a duchy in the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1775 to 1918.

In 1916, her family fled, ahead of the Russian advance, settling in Vienna. After finishing school in Dresden she returned to Vienna, where she first made her name at the bridge table. Married young, and disastrously, she devoted herself almost entirely to bridge.

In 1938, she fled Austria after German forces entered Vienna (the Anschluss). Markus then made her home in London, where she remained for the rest of her life. She worked as a translator for the Red Cross during World War II and became a naturalised British citizen in 1950.

Her husband, Salomon Markus, also came to London. He opposed her efforts to gain independence in every way he could, and fought her for custody of their daughter Margo.[5] Divorce was not simple in those days, but Markus obtained a judicial separation and a subsequent divorce in 1947.[6] She described in her autobiography three subsequent long-term relationships with men: first Standish Booker, a leading bridge player, then Wash Carr (Walter Copley Carr) of the News of the World, and lastly Harold Lever (Lord Lever), a senior Labour Party politician.

Brilliant, intense and argumentative are amongst the mildest adjectives used to describe her presence at the table.[7]

At the Vienna Bridge Club she became the protégée of Dr. Paul Stern, inventor of the Vienna System of bidding and leader of Austria's European champion teams. Soon she was one of the best women players, a 1935–1937 member of the Austria Ladies team that won three European and one world teams championship.[8][9] After the Anschluss of Germany and Austria, both Rixi and Stern escaped to London (separately).

In 1950 Markus qualified to play for Britain by virtue of her naturalisation. Her first partnership was with Lady Doris Rhodes, a good player who had played on "Pops" Beasley's British team in its 1933 match with the Culbertson team. Markus–Rhodes played together in the "Ladies" flight of the European teams championships in 1951 (Venice) and 1952 (Dún Laoghaire or Dunleary), winning both times,[8] and in a 1953 tour of the United States where they played in two victorious matches against the American ladies team.

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