In the 2nd of 8 sets in the CNTC Final between the Todd team and the L'Equyer team, there were 2 hands where a very specific scenario occurred twice in 3 hands, with the same strange result both times.
Both hand were played by Don Pearsons in 3N, with an effective holding in Spades of KJxxx opposite 2 small, and probable 8 outside tricks. He had a 2nd stopper in the suit the opps led, so he needed 1 Spade trick early before setting up his long suit.
This is the first hand, Board 8.
Don Pearsons got the lead of the 7 of Diamonds, and won the Q with the A. He then led the 7 of Spades and allowed it to run. It proceeded to win the trick when Danny Miles ducked the Q of Spades. Don now had his Spade trick he needed, and could make the hand by playing on Hearts, which is what Demuy did at the other table. (He played a Spade as well, but put up the K, then played on Hearts) But he thought the Spades were positioned well now, and led another Spade to the J. Danny won this, cleared the Diamonds, and now the hand can not be made.
2 Hands later, this earily similar hand came up.
This time, Don got the lead of the 5 of Hearts to the J and Q. He led the 10 of Spades, and again it was allowed to hold the trick. And again that was the elusive 9th trick due to the lucky lie of the Diamonds. But again, Don repeated the Spade hook, Danny won the Q, cleared Hearts, and Don again wound up down 1.
At the other table, the result was the same, 3N down 1. So Don lost 11 Imps on the 2 hands, instead of having a chance at winning 13.
The Finals of the CNTC continue on BBO today.