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Kyushu 2021 discussion

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13 minutes ago, Taliesin said:

Meanwhile with Meisei, Ichinojo, Kiribayama all 5-8, and Takanosho 9-4 (and facing Hidenoumi tomorrow) I wonder if he has a shot at jumping straight to sekiwake.

This is jumping the GTB gun somewhat, but I think the answer won't be yes. 

Historically, only 2 yusho-honour (YDJ) double-digit maegashira have gone to sekiwake: Kiyokuni in 1964 and Ichinojo in 2014. Kiyokuni's wasn't hard; only he and Kitanofuji scored double-digit KK amongst the maegashira, with everyone else recording marginal KKs or otherwise MKs. Three of four junior sanyaku getting demoted as well meant that it wasn't hard to plug the gap with Kiyokuni and Kitanofuji, even if they were perhaps a little overpromoted before their time (both shin-sanyaku promptly went MK).

Ichinojo's case in Aki 2014 is a little more curious, because arguably Aminishiki, four ranks above him with a 10-5 KK and a gino-sho, should have been a better promotee. That, or Tochiozan, two ranks above him with 11-4, but no special prize. Maybe the committee found it hard to argue against two special prizes and a bout with Hakuho, and Ichinojo was catapulted to S1w despite being the lowest ranked of the sanyaku promotees on that banzuke.

Given that Abi has a bout with Terunofuji, is in sole possession of the jun-yusho at the moment, and appears to be a shoo-in for at least one if not two sansho, then the same logic may appear to apply as it did in Ichinojo's case. However, Abi is five ranks under where Ichinojo was in Aki 2014, and has to compete with a possibly 10+ KK Takanosho for that single sekiwake slot (Aki 2014 had two vacant sekiwake slots). IMO, it's much more likely that he beats Ura and Hokutofuji for an express return to komusubi instead, with the other two as M1s.

The only case I can see for him jumping straight to S1w will be Takanosho choking both his remaining bouts to end at 9-6, and Abi beating Terunofuji both tomorrow and in the playoff for the yusho, which will almost certainly get him the kanto-sho and shukun-sho if not the gino sho as well. A lot of things have to go right for this to happen. In addition, I don't know if the banzuke committee will be reluctant to reward his return to makuuchi (from suspension for misconduct, mind you) with a new career high rank, even with an outstanding result: don't forget that Daieisho also infamously got pipped for a sanyaku return despite a yusho earlier this year.

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28 minutes ago, Taliesin said:

In that case, why not throw Shodai at Abi?

Anyone really thinks that Shodai is a sterner test than Takakeisho this basho, at least on the results?

That said, Abi v Terunofuji is one strike against Eikokurai's maxim of "the maegashira is never allowed to play catch-up", because this is exactly what is happening here. I suspect, though, that part of this is due to shoddy matchmaking; Mitakeumi should have been the first gate and then Takakeisho (especially as Mitakeumi has a much better H2H against Abi (6(+1F)-2) than Takakeisho (2-3 including today)). Then, if Abi got past Mitakeumi, you at least had Shodai and Takakeisho to throw at him, with the option of subbing Terunofuji for Shodai if Terunofuji dropped a bout otherwise.

Now, Abi is in the position of being able to force a yokozuna to the ketteisen, after beating only a single ozeki (the rest of his opposition were lower-makuuchi maegashira). Even Ichinojo needed to get past Yoshikaze (M3), the ozeki Kisenosato and Goeido, and Kakuryu before he had the privilege of fighting Hakuho on day 14, and that was arguably a case of running out of roadblocks.

Edited by Seiyashi
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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

It's probably still out for the jury whether the attitude lasts, but I agree with the bulk. He's also probably going to land on the joi borderline if not actually in it (unless he wins the yusho), in which case he would probably be capitalising on an excellent time to storm up the ranks too, what with all the hot picks of last year (the two junior Kotos and Hoshoryu) having somewhat run out of steam along the way, and a general weakness and/or inconsistency in everyone not called Terunofuji or Takakeisho.

He could always relapse, but I read a recent interview (in Japanese only) where he was plenty contrite about his past transgressions, and, timed right when he had just become a new father, the suspension seems to have shocked him into a newfound maturity and sense of gratitude just to be able to still be in the sumo game. People make mistakes, learn, and grow up. He's a changed person. 

Likewise, did you or anyone else see Ryuden's yusho interview? He probably made 4-5 apologetic bows during the brief interview and appeared almost ashamed to be on TV. Like Abi, he also expressed remorse and, more than joy at winning the kakudan yusho, he appeared to just be grateful he was able to retain his career. 

 

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Splendid David vs Goliath wins for Ishiura and Kotoeko today.

Sadanoumi made that awfully easy for Chiyoshoma...

I'm having to reassess my opinion of Hidenoumi. He's a personality vacuum in comparison to his brother, and I've never been impressed by his sumo before, but he's snuck up and KKd at his highest rank by handing Takayasu his MK... Huh?

Looks like Ura's making another play for a sanyaku slot. That was a superb win over Ichinojo. He's really got that katasukashi nailed now.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, Abi looks to have gained not merely in bulk, but also in control. Pre-suspension Abi would have lost his footing/balance somewhere in today's yusho eliminator against Takakeisho, but not this guy.
I do hope it's been matched by a gain in mental control that will keep him out of trouble now. He's served his sentence (which cost him a chunk of his peak career), so I'm prepared to give him the benefit. Good luck to him in the yusho race and in his inevitable return to the joi.

Mitakeumi needs to address his vulnerability to a maemitsu grip. He looks even more helpless than Takakeisho...
However, it's great to see Terunofuji still on course to match or maybe exceed his career best.

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48 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

would jack the excitement level in this otherwise meh tournament off the charts

Short of Terunofuji trailing Abi and playing catch up for the tension, it’s hard to see what could be different about this basho to make it more interesting, imo. You’ve got at least one Ozeki doing his job by being right in the yusho race, a hiramaku threatening an upset and a Yokozuna doing what he should but being pushed all the way by the chasers. Up to day 10, we also had a Sekiwake in the hunt (Mitakeumi) and several other Maegashira guys keeping pace (Ura, Hokutofuji, Tamawashi). I think narrative-wise the basho has delivered. This crop of rikishi aren’t going to serve up anything better than they have this basho. It’s not like we have multiple Yokozuna able to clash on senshuraku for the title.

Or did you mean the quality of the sumo?

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I almost forgot! I thought Kiribayama's bout against Takarafuji was quietly hilarious.

His inexperience showed when he went for a nodowa.

"Wait.. wut?"

He even tried again, probably unable to believe it wasn't there!

Lucky to get the win, IMO.

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Oh, when I said Shodai vs Abi I meant final day. Should have quoted the previous post. As for sekiwake situation, maybe I misunderstood, but I just don't see who gets the slot then. If Meisei is 7-8 it still should be possible to not demote him, but if it's worse...

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9 minutes ago, Taliesin said:

Oh, when I said Shodai vs Abi I meant final day. Should have quoted the previous post. As for sekiwake situation, maybe I misunderstood, but I just don't see who gets the slot then. If Meisei is 7-8 it still should be possible to not demote him, but if it's worse...

Takanosho, especially if he goes 10. If he goes 11 with no other promotee ahead of him I don't think even a YSK 14-1 Abi can displace him.

Edited by Seiyashi

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Oh, I see now. "He" in my first post was referring exactly to Takanosho. Sorry for causing a misunderstanding.

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Oh!

Yeah, Takanosho is pretty much the first in line to any sanyaku slot that opens up, unless both Daieisho and Wakatakakage pull off perfect finishes, and even then if Takanosho goes 11-4 over their 8-7s then he's probably going to jump them to sekiwake. A 9-6 is a bit trickier, and might see Takanosho miss out completely especially if Meisei limits his damage to 7-8.

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

Or did you mean the quality of the sumo?

I was referring to the possibility of a playoff.  For me anyway, when the championship is decided before Day 15, any real excitement dissipates immediately.  Playoffs hold fans in suspense beyond the last regulation bout of 15-day tournaments, which is ... exciting.  Do you disagree?

In addition to that, I believe there is excitement to be found when an unexpected wrestler emerges to contend for the title, possibly even steal said title.  Can you say in all honesty that you saw Abi doing as well as he has done so far, and predicted that he would win the Top Division championship after spending months in the lower divisions?  I sure didn't see that "possibility". 

Edited by Amamaniac

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On 16/11/2021 at 20:40, Eikokurai said:

Hopefully those two can keep the yusho race interesting fighting well below their natural ranks. They’ll avoid the Y/O until they start threatening to steal the cup so they’ve a nice opportunity.

22 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

I was referring to the possibility of a playoff.  For me anyway, when the championship is decided before Day 15, any real excitement dissipates immediately.  Playoffs hold fans in suspense beyond the last regulation bout of 15-day tournaments, which is ... exciting.  Do you disagree?

In addition to that, I believe there is excitement to be found when an unexpected wrestler emerges to contend for the title, possibly even steal said title.  Can you say in all honesty that you saw Abi doing as well as he has done so far, and predicted that he would win the Top Division championship after spending months in the lower divisions?  I sure didn't see that "possibility". 

Not sure I follow you. Surely then Abi’s breakout performance so far has made it exciting enough for you regardless of how it ends? 
 

And see above: I did indeed predict a strong performance from Abi (and Hokutofuji) as early as day 3. ;-)

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49 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

I was referring to the possibility of a playoff.  For me anyway, when the championship is decided before Day 15, any real excitement dissipates immediately.  Playoffs hold fans in suspense beyond the last regulation bout of 15-day tournaments, which is ... exciting.  Do you disagree?

In addition to that, I believe there is excitement to be found when an unexpected wrestler emerges to contend for the title, possibly even steal said title.  Can you say in all honesty that you saw Abi doing as well as he has done so far, and predicted that he would win the Top Division championship after spending months in the lower divisions?  I sure didn't see that "possibility". 

If you are excited for lower-ranked wrestlers to pull a fast one, then Ryuden and Asanoyama should be keeping you quite happy for the next year or so at least. I'm frankly not very happy that they are doing so, because it feels perverse that they get a better shot at the yusho from lower in the division due to the disparity in fighting condition. Far better to just have suspended any and all privileges of their rank including pay, put them at the bottom of makuuchi/the joi, and frozen their rank movements thereafter.

Prior to his match with Takakeisho, Abi at M15 has not only not had a single match against the sanyaku, he has not even had a match against anyone Terunofuji would fight. I wonder what happened to the old approach of gradually throwing better opponents at a low-ranked upstart; maybe Abi's ex-sanyaku regularity and non-injury-related demotion warranted them skipping the formalities. In which case, Asanoyama at least should be cleaning house as well if and when he makes it back to makuuchi.

Edited by Seiyashi

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Chiyotairu just found out the meaning of "let sleeping bears lie". Giving Toshinoshin a harite only made him mad (the return harite by 'shin was no joke).

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3 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Ichinojo's case in Aki 2014 is a little more curious, because arguably Aminishiki, four ranks above him with a 10-5 KK and a gino-sho, should have been a better promotee. That, or Tochiozan, two ranks above him with 11-4, but no special prize. Maybe the committee found it hard to argue against two special prizes and a bout with Hakuho, and Ichinojo was catapulted to S1w despite being the lowest ranked of the sanyaku promotees on that banzuke.

Ichinojo to Sekiwake was widely expected.  42 of 68 players put him at the correct position, and one even had him at S1e. 

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/gtb/GTBSelectionBasho.aspx?b=201411

I do remember many people being kinda shocked about it, but those who actually knew how banzuke were put together were confused about such a reaction, because it's pretty obvious.

 

Edited by Gurowake

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

Prior to his match with Takakeisho, Abi at M15 has not only not had a single match against the sanyaku, he has not even had a match against anyone Terunofuji would fight. I wonder what happened to the old approach of gradually throwing better opponents at a low-ranked upstart; maybe Abi's ex-sanyaku regularity and non-injury-related demotion warranted them skipping the formalities

I think they should have had the courage of their convictions - if an M15 gets to day-15 with the joint top score then have a play off. Artificially jumping him from facing people around his rank straight to an Ozeki and then immediately to the Yokozuna looks something like panic. Now they effectively have the final set up for day-14.

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

Not sure I follow you. Surely then Abi’s breakout performance so far has made it exciting enough for you regardless of how it ends? 
 

And see above: I did indeed predict a strong performance from Abi (and Hokutofuji) as early as day 3. ;-)

I apologise for my inability to communicate the idea that having a playoff (and potentially an upset victory) on Senshuraku is more exciting than Terunofuji securing victory on Day 14.  I don't know how else to phrase it...

As for Abi's performance so far, I will admit that he has impressed me.  But I won't say that it created any immediate excitement (those early wins were to be expected) ... until it became clear that he was a real contender.  Today's bout vs Takakeisho was the first time that I felt palpable excitement from one of his bouts (the previous day's bout against Tamawashi came close though).  

Bouts at the end of a tournament and those versus "elite" opponents provide a higher level of uncertainty.  Putting together a string of wins definitely adds to the excitement from the viewpoint of probability (the odds of winning go down with each consecutive win – barring other considerations).

Congrats btw spotting Abi's unique opportunity to strike gold in this tournament given his banzuke ranking. (Iamnotworthy...)

Edited by Amamaniac

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6 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

Ichinojo to Sekiwake was widely expected.  42 of 68 players put him at the correct position, and one even had him at S1e.  Your analysis betrays quite a lack of understanding of how the banzuke is made.

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/gtb/GTBSelectionBasho.aspx?b=201411

 

And that's why I suck at GTB (Laughing...) The ultimate joke is probably this: I fed Aki 2014 into my spreadsheet for GTB and the sanyaku came out perfect, 10 for 10 - including Ichinojo at S1w because of a score differential of 11 vs Aminishiki's 5. So even my computer (or at least past me) is smarter than me!

Got most of the maegashira wrong, though, for a measly 36.

Right now, though, Abi and Takanosho's 13-rank differential can't really be made up at least as far as I understand the banzuke. Even in the worst case where Takanosho loses out and Abi gets the yusho with a 14-1, Takanosho is still 3 ahead of Abi and front runner for the sekiwake slot. If Takanosho wins one more it's as good as in the bag - or at least Abi isn't taking that bag away from him, if the Daieisho snub is anything to go by.

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2 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

I fed Aki 2014 into my spreadsheet for GTB and the sanyaku came out perfect, 10 for 10 - including Ichinojo at S1w because of a score differential of 11 vs Aminishiki's 5. So even my computer (or at least past me) is smarter than me! 

Yep, rank/record numbers are generally very predictive of the order of placement on the next banzuke.  When they end up close and there are other factors, things might be changed, but that situation was fairly clear cut.

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Just now, Gurowake said:

Yep, rank/record numbers are generally very predictive of the order of placement on the next banzuke.  When they end up close and there are other factors, things might be changed, but that situation was fairly clear cut.

I plead looking only at the wins and not both the wins and the losses. It's easy (at least for me) to forget to consider that a 9-6 counts for more than twice an 8-7 despite being "only" one win more.

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19 minutes ago, nagora said:

I think they should have had the courage of their convictions - if an M15 gets to day-15 with the joint top score then have a play off. Artificially jumping him from facing people around his rank straight to an Ozeki and then immediately to the Yokozuna looks something like panic. Now they effectively have the final set up for day-14.

I think the opposite, actually: they should have just Ichinojo-ed him. Let's say if any lower maegashira makes it to say day 8-9 perfect or in the yusho race, boot out the lowest performing sanyaku/joi member in the remaining intra-joi/sanyaku bouts and test the upstart progressively. And they really shouldn't have dropped the ball on this: Ichinojo was a relatively unknown debutant until he started kicking ass and taking names, whereas Abi (and after him, Asanoyama) are ex-sanyaku stalwarts who fell not due to injury but to suspension (i.e. no degradation of their fighting ability commensurate to their place in the banzuke). It boggles my mind how they waited so long to test him and then plonked Takakeisho straight in front of him; you're right, it definitely looks like panic.

Your system IMO feels like if someone in juryo gets to day 15 with the same joint score as in makuuchi, then they have a playoff to decide who gets the cup. Makuuchi might as well be two divisions, to be honest, especially since it's not like intra-divisional boundaries are hard ones in sumo.

Edited by Seiyashi

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19 minutes ago, nagora said:

I think they should have had the courage of their convictions - if an M15 gets to day-15 with the joint top score then have a play off. Artificially jumping him from facing people around his rank straight to an Ozeki and then immediately to the Yokozuna looks something like panic. Now they effectively have the final set up for day-14.

I'm not sure what you mean by "courage of their convictions".  They have quite evidently lately been trying very hard to prevent low-ranked maegashira from winning the Yusho without being tested as much as makes sense based on the progression of how things go in the tournament.  Tokushoryu got a bit of an easier schedule because no one expected him to win nearly as many matches as he did late in the tournament given his history, and given how things went since then, either Hakuho possessed him after he withdrew, or he just got extremely lucky.  Terunofuji then for his M17 Yusho had to face the top 3 sanyaku still in the tournament during the home stretch.  And as noted, Ichinojo also pulled down some top sanyaku opponents on his debut, at a time when no one knew what it would take to stop him.  Abi is not Tokushoryu; he's had multiple of KKs in the joi.  He needs to be seriously tested like Terunofuji and Ichinojo were, as he cannot be expected to lose any of his matches in the way it was assumed Tokushoryu would.

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3 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

Abi is not Tokushoryu; he's had multiple of KKs in the joi.  He needs to be seriously tested like Terunofuji and Ichinojo were, as he cannot be expected to lose any of his matches in the way it was assumed Tokushoryu would.

Would you do it in the same way as was done here - i.e. jump him straight to Takakeisho and Terunofuji? It feels like at least Mitakeumi and Ichinojo, who are available and have superior H2H against Abi, would be decent tests for him before matching him against the big guns. I don't think we doubt that the yokozuna and ozeki are stern tests, but whether or not they were the only tests available.

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1 minute ago, Seiyashi said:

Would you do it in the same way as was done here - i.e. jump him straight to Takakeisho and Terunofuji? It feels like at least Mitakeumi and Ichinojo, who are available and have superior H2H against Abi, would be decent tests for him before matching him against the big guns. I don't think we doubt that the yokozuna and ozeki are stern tests, but whether or not they were the only tests available.

I definitely would put him against the other contenders in the Yusho race rather than not.  I was expecting based on the old way of doing things that they'd give him Takanosho Day 13 and the Mitakeumi and Takakeisho the last two days, but it makes far more sense and ins more consistent with how they've come to approaching the situation to put him directly in the Yusho race, especially when there are matches among the top 4 that are somewhat dead rubbers except for possibly Mitakeumi's promotion to Ozeki, and I'm sure they're quite happy giving Mitakeumi easier matches on paper to make that more likely to happen, just like they seem to be fine with giving Ozeki in trouble easier matches if it means putting Yusho contenders against each other instead of those Ozeki.

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