UK Snooker Championship
Venue: Telford International Centre Date: 4-12 December
Coverage: Live action and highlights on BBC Two and BBC Red Button; updates and reports on BBC Radio 5 live and live coverage on this website.
Full details of BBC coverage
Defending champion Ding was the first player into the last 16
Ding Junhui got his UK Championship defence off to an assured start with a 9-4 victory over Matthew Stevens.
Having resumed the session leading 7-1, Ding, however, wasted good positions to close out the match earlier.
Ding will next take on meet Northern Ireland's Mark Allen, who had a 141 clearance as he ousted Tom Ford 9-5.
Mark Selby defeated Ricky Walden 9-6, Stephen Maguire beat Ken Doherty 9-6, while world champion Neil Robertson opened up a 7-1 lead over Rory McLeod.
Australian Robertson led 3-1 at the interval before extending that lead to six frames, knocking in a 137 in the process, to leave him requiring only two more on Sunday to secure his passage in Telford.
Ding made a visit of 135 in the opening frame and took the second with breaks of 32 and 43.
Stevens racked up 57 in the next but Ding clinched the frame thanks to his superior safety shots and then went 4-0 ahead with a 97.
Stevens finally got off the mark in frame five but Ding led 7-1, scoring 101 in the seventh, going into the evening session.
Ding edged closer to victory in the second-session opener but Stevens won the next three frames before his resistance was ended by a break of 98.
Masters champion Selby and world number 19 Walden were level at 4-4 but the 'Jester from Leicester' won five of the evening's seven frames to progress to a meeting with Maguire.
Graeme Dott, the 2006 world champion, trails Martin Gould 5-3 going into Sunday's second session.
Another former Crucible winner Peter Ebdon produced successive centuries to lead 2-1 against Andrew Higginson but will resume on Sunday tied at 4-4.