This is a disorder which causes victims' partners to pull their hair out in utter frustration. The syndrome is defined as a denial or refusal to acknowledge something that is blatantly obvious, almost as if the sufferer had put his head in the sand like an ostrich.
This affliction particularly targets weak minded bridge players, who all too often capitulate under the pressure of having to make the right decision. It tends to infect a victim the minute a critical stage of the bidding, or play of a hand has been reached. This immediate refusal to see the nose that is in front of his/her face coincides with the recognition of an unpleasant problem, which must be confronted : what to do next for the best ? However, the reasons why they face problems, where others don't, can be easily explained. They have failed to count the cards played, especially trumps. They have failed to take note of the bidding. They have ignored all partner's signals. They have paid no attention to what the opponents are up to, and have no idea of partner's plans.
Some psycho-analysts claim that OS bridge players suffer from a fear of the unknown, and that the following characteristics can be recognised in all chronic sufferers :
- taking every opportunity to bury their heads in the sand
- having a definite lack of awareness as to what is happening at the table
- praying that they will not be asked or required to make any crucial decisions
- not wanting to know
- having no real plan of attack or defence
- choosing to behave as if they are not interested or concerned
- preferring to run away
Players with OS inevitably make blind choices, which of course always prove to be disastrous. Not surprisingly, they will always come up with flimsy excuses, the usual ones being " I didn't realize "....." I must have missed that "...." my mind was elsewhere " ( like one foot under the sand ? ). Often, when they claim " Well........I made an off-the-cuff decision........I took a chance..." they avoid laying blame upon themselves, pointing their accusing finger at God. What they don't realize is that........had they bothered to observe what was going on around them, they would not encounter the type of problems, which lack of knowledge is responsible for.
This woeful condition does require immediate treatment, because if it is left unattended it will continue to cause significant damage to partnership confidence and harmony.... not to mention end of session results. John Bennett, who was one of the first to be diagnosed with this syndrome, caused his wife ( and partner ) to completely flip, when he went off in a rigid 4S. Quite understandably she shot him dead, pleading extreme provocation in order to get her sentence reduced.