Mark Allen will take a 7-2 lead over Judd Trump into the evening session at the Champion of Champions final.
A break of 123 helped Trump level at 1-1 after Allen's run of 59 clinched the opener but the Northern Irishman then won six straight frames in Bolton.
Englishman Trump led 62-0 in frame four only for Allen to pinch it on the black thanks to a break of 63.
Runs of 137 and 65 helped Allen move 7-1 up - just three shy of victory - before Trump reduced the deficit.
World number four Allen, 37, won the Champion of Champions event in 2020 while Trump clinched the title the following year and was beaten 10-6 by Ronnie O'Sullivan in the decider 12 months ago despite hitting a 147 break.
Trump, 34, has been the dominant player on the circuit so far this season by winning four titles, including successive ranking tournament triumphs at the English Open, Wuhan Open and Northern Ireland Open.