John C H ‘Jack’ Marx

By Gerard Faulkner
EB October 1991 / BM November 1991

Jack Marx died aged 84 on August 29th, 1991. With his passing, bridge has lost a great ambassador and innovator.

As a player, Jack had many triumphs, the most notable on the international scene being a gold medal in the European Championships in 1950 and playing for Britain in the World Championships in that year. On the domestic front, he played a number of Camrose matches for England, the last being in 1972, and was a winner of the Gold Cup in 1937, 1947 and 1971. We shared that last win, and it gave us both much pleasure to note that Jack had first won the Gold Cup in the year of my birth!

As an administrator, Jack took on selection duties for both the BBL and EBU and was a member of the Rules and Ethics Committee, as it was then known, from 1970-76.

It will, however, be in the area of bridge writing and innovation that his influence will be most felt in the future. Apart from numerous entertaining articles over the years, Jack was the originator of Byzantine Blackwood as well as being an independent originator of the Stayman convention. Most of all, he will be remembered as one of the five originators of Acol (the others being Harrison-Gray, MacLeod, Reese and Simon).

Having survived a near fatal illness in the mid-seventies, Jack withdrew from serious competitive bridge but continued to enjoy the game with his many friends at the London club and elsewhere. Jack was a true gentleman who invariably conducted himself at the bridge table, as in life, in a friendly, generous and gentle way. He will be sadly missed.

Major International Appearances

European Championships: 1950*

* = 1st place

Camrose Trophy Selections: 1937 1946 1947 1950 1972 and 1973

Gold Cup Winner: 1937 1947 and 1971

Crockfords Cup Winner: 1946

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1938

National Pairs winner: 1937

Tollemache Cup winner: 1936 and 1970