Everyone knows that spot cards are important - Those nines and tens can really be the difference between making a contract and going down. Here's a hand from last Tuesday where some lower spot cards were important.
North-South were playing 4-card majors and a 12-14 NT, but their bidding was fairly standard in most systems. After the 2 bid gets passed round to him, East has a tricky decision - it doesn't seem right to pass the opponents out at the 2 level in what is likely to be a good club fit; on the other hand, you don't have great holdings in the unbid suits, your heart holding might cause opponents difficulty in their contract, and everyone is vulnerable, so if either side is going down, competing is likely to produce a bad score. Anyway, East decides to protect with 2.
South leads the 7, and it goes 10, Q, A. Declarer now leads his J, and South takes the A, and switches to the 4. This goes 9, K, A. Declarer now ruffs a heart with the 10, and leads the K. I ruff this with the 7, and declarer pitches the 6. I switch to the 5 and declarer plays low and Pat returns another spade to declarer's A. Declarer now plays the J to my K; I lead the 9 to declarer's 10, and Pat ruffs with the Q. This is the position:
Pat leads the Q, I ruff with the 5, and declarer overruffs with the 6. Declarer now leads the 6 to my 8. I lead the 3, and declarer has to play the J to beat it, allowing me to win the last trick with the 8.
If I'd been watching more carefully, I could have played the 8 back on the second last trick, and ended up winning the last trick by beating the 2 of trumps with the 3. Unfortunately, I hadn't realised that this would happen.