Mark Allen overcame Marco Fu 6-5 to reach the UK Championship semi-finals for the second successive year.
After a controversial few days, Allen took the opening two frames before runs of 73 and 68 saw Fu draw level at 2-2.
Allen restored a two-frame advantage but Fu - with breaks of 131, 63 and 58 - hit back to lead 5-4, before Allen won the final two frames.
He will face Ricky Walden in the semis after the first-time quarter-finalist beat Shaun Murphy 6-3.
Earlier, Judd Trump had become the first man to reach the semi-finals with an impressive 6-3 victory over Stephen Maguire.
He will face Neil Robertson in the last four after the 2010 world champion beat China's Ding Junhui 6-2.
On Wednesday Allen entered his press conference with a piece of gaffer tape over his mouth in protest at what he felt was unfair criticism of previous comments aimed at World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.
But the Northern Irishman did his talking on the table on Thursday when, in an error-strewn opening frame, which lasted 28 minutes, Fu missed two long balls before Allen secured the frame 69-1.
Allen took the second frame, but after both players had missed easy pots, Fu took the third with a break of 73 and went into the break level after he played an inch-perfect shot to snooker his opponent.
Allen fluked the fifth frame with a double on a re-spotted black after Fu had tied the scores with a superb 58 in response to Allen's 63, and extended his advantage with a break of 51.
But Hong Kong cueman Fu clawed his way back into the match, rattling in a fluent 131, then winning the eighth on the black before a 58 break put him in front for the first time in the match.
But Allen held his nerve, winning the 10th with a break of 66 to set up a final-frame decider, which he took confidently won with a run of 55.
In the other evening match, Walden won the first frame with a break of 70, but he gifted the second to Murphy when he mis-judged an easy pot to the middle pocket.
The 2008 UK champion went ahead with a run of 84 but breaks of 67, 67 and 55 saw Walden rattle off four frames in a row.
Murphy won the eighth with a break of 61, but Walden secured the win with a break of 71.