Haru Day 7 Preview

Tochinoshin Raids The Vending Machine

It will be difficult to beat the level of action and excitement across the board from day 6, but the scheduling team is going to give it a try. We enter the middle weekend of the basho with a solid, competitive group of sumotori all within fighting range of a bid for dominance in act 3, and the race for the emperor’s cup. Act 2 will narrow this broad field of contenders considerably, and that is the thinking behind the scheduling team for the next four days. Give the fans exciting sumo, and get the number of contenders down to a manageable number.

Some of the rikishi below may be fairly easy to pick off and will drop back, some of them will probably prove surprisingly resilient. On day 6 we saw some fire from Tochinoshin, and Ichinojo continues to dominate, as well as disrupting the local gravity field.

Haru Leaderboard

Leaders: Kakuryu, Kaisei
Chasers: Ichinojo, Shohozan, Chiyonokuni, Daishomaru, Daiamami, Aoiyama
Hunt Group: Takayasu, Goeido, Mitakeumi, Tochinoshin, Okinoumi, Yutakayama, Ikioi

9 Matches Remain

What We Are Watching Day 7

Ikioi vs Aoiyama – Ikioi is visibly hurt more each day. I think that everyone is hoping he can make his 8 and go kyujo, but his progress ground to a halt in the last 2 days. Now he faces Aoiyama, who takes no prisoners. They have a long record, with Ikioi holding a 13-9 advantage. It won’t do him any good tomorrow, except with the fans.

Daishomaru vs Sokokurai – Daishomaru is on fire right now, and I don’t see any way that Sokokurai is going to slow him down. FYI, for those of you who (like me) are fans of the “Mole Boss”, he is supposedly Sokokurai’s cat. Does this give him magic powers? Perhaps. We know that Hakuho fears the mole boss, but sadly the Dai-Yokozuna is not in this tournament.

Daiamami vs Chiyonokuni – Both come into the match with 5-1 records, and this is their first meeting. Hello scheduling crew! Time to get one of the 5-1 rikishi out of the Chaser group. I think that I would give a slight edge to Chiyonokuni, if for no other reason than he’s very streaky, and right now his streak is running hot.

Okinoumi vs Yutakayama – Two of the hunt group face off, with identical 4-2 records. Okinoumi takes a careful approach to his sumo, in part to avoid aggravating his chronic injuries. I am going to take him over Yutakayama, in this one. The loser drops out of the hunt group.

Kaisei vs Kagayaki – Kaisei shows no sign of slowing down yet, and the schedulers have yet to have him face anyone higher up the banzuke, but I think Sunday may remedy this. Kagayaki is a good rikishi, but Kaisei is good, and huge. Interestingly enough, Kagayaki holds a 3-1 career advantage.

Chiyomaru vs Abi – Ultra-mega slap fest 2018! It’s going to be on like the fall of Saigon, with Abi mobile and pushing like mad, and Chiyomaru being huge and deploying his defensive chin-bag to block any nodowa attempts. Who will win? Tough to guess.

Yoshikaze vs Shodai – For me, Yoshikaze’s matches this time out are like watching a funeral. Shodai has never won a match against him, but who knows. I don’t know what malady has befallen my favorite Sekitori of all time, but I wish him well.

Endo vs Kotoshogiku – Time for Endo to run up the score, provided he was not injured when he and Tochinoshin took their dive at the end of their day 6 match. I dearly love Kotoshogiku, but he’s out of mojo right now, and Fat Bastard is nowhere to be found.

Ichinojo vs Tamawashi – This one may not go how we think. Tamawashi is famous for baking. How many cookies would it take to get Ichinojo in a giddy mood? Could he get so distracted that he forgets to compete? Not a chance – Ichinojo is driving hard for wins, and I expect him to hold on to his position in the group chasing down the leaders. There’s just too much of him to move!

Arawashi vs Tochinoshin – Arawashi is really hurt. Easy Tochinoshin win.

Mitakeumi vs Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu has a size advantage, and they are matched 3-3 over their career matches. I will say that Mitakeumi has a slight edge in this one, as he knows he may never have a better chance to rack up double-digit wins.

Takarafuji vs Goeido – Takarafuji can’t buy a win, so Goeido unless there is some kind of software error at the tachiai and he boots up into bouncy castle mode.

Takayasu vs Shohozan – I have been and remain a big backer of Takayasu, but for this match, I really want Shohozan to up-end the big Ozeki. If for no other reason than I want Shohozan to stay in contention. Their career record is 6-5 in Takayasu’s favor, so it’s an even match.

Kakuryu vs Takakeisho – This one is VERY interesting. Takakeisho has been struggling a bit, but he is capable of beating Kakuryu, and he may be able to uncork some serious, unpredictable sumo. Kakuryu is all about reactive sumo, he often engages to blunt his opponent’s offense, and waits for them to make a mistake, which he then exploits for the win.

12 thoughts on “Haru Day 7 Preview

  1. Expecting Takakeisho to give Kakuryu his most challenging bout so far his basho. Sad about Yoshikaze and wondering whether this may be his last basho.

  2. I wouldn’t be so quick to write of Arawashi. He is hurt, and Tochinoshin is coming in with a huge advantage, but observe how far he was able to fling Takayasu in their match.

    He’ll probably lose, but he’s got enough skill to where he shouldn’t be taken lightly, even injured.

  3. I’m giving the edge to Chiyomaru over Abi. Abi tends to lean in too hard when applying tsuppari and nodowa, and Chiyomaru is surprisingly quick for someone so big.

    • I agree. Abi is inexperienced and sometimes overeager. Chiyomaru will definitely use both of those things to his advantage.

  4. First, a question:
    Is the order of the Goeido modes as follows
    – 2.0
    – 0.5 Beta
    – Debug
    – Bouncy castle

    Now also i hope Kotoshogiku can stick around long enough to have one last match against Kisenosato. Sadly, i don’t think either will ever be in fighting range again without a kyujo from one of them.

    • Ah, a worthy question!

      Goeido, as we all know, was constructed as a next-generation sumo-bot by Sumocorp. The CEO of Sumocorp, the visionary Chiyonofuji, declared that Goeido was the next generation of ultiumate sumo champion, and his cutting edge sumo combat platform ran the innovatinve software, GoeiDOS.

      At first, GoeiDOS was heralded as a breakthrough in modern sumo. It was so intuitive and easy, that it was a delight to see in action. Thus things stayed, with the Goeido platform continuing to evolve and enhance, eventually reaching the rank of Ozeki.

      Then tragedy struck Sumocorp. Their visionay CEO passed away, and Sumocorp was left in shambles. Years before Chiyonofuji left sumo to take up the reigns of Sumocorp, it had been a chaotic, pointless mess. Producing 200 kg Jonidans, 100 kg Sekiwake, and one very tiny Yokozuna (5 cm) that everyone mistook for a capsule toy, along with other oddities that everyone marveled at, but seldom used. Under Chiyonofuji’s masterful and brilliant leadership, Sumocorp became a world power in automated sumo.

      Now with Sumocorp leaderless, the engineering team revereted back to their bad, old ways. The created features no one ever asked for, and no one wanted to use. Their crown jewel, GoeiDOS became buggy and slow. Once happy fans of GoeiDOS began to complain. Quietly at first, and then in a growing chorus that Sumocorp had lost its way. The new leadership assured fans that everything was awesome, and the next version of GoeiDOS was going to be the best, ever.

      Then an enterprising sumo reporter uncovered that Sumocorp had been introducing code that would intentionally cause Goiedo to go kadoban, in a foolish attempt to force the NSK to buy a newer model. The scandal rocked the world of sumo, and in a desperate attempt to save it’s reputation, Sumocorp loaded a dangerous, untested version of GoeiDOS into their battle bot. As a result, he went unbeaten at the Aki basho in 2016. But the untested software damaged the base unit, and since then he has been patched and re-patched to try to get him stable, always with limited success.

      The versions of GoeiDOS we know about are:

      GoeiDOS 1.0 – Initial version that worked fairly well, and was able to fight at Sekiwake levels
      GoeiDOS 1.5 – Massive upgrade, sometimes refered to as Moutain Goeidos, it intrudced many bugs, and frequently pulled rather than pushed. This one has a 50/50 chance of being kadoban at any time
      GoeiDOS 2.0 – Also called Snow Goeidos, this one is what won Aki 2016. Incredilbly agressive, and possibly dangerous, this version blasts all opponents off the dohyo.

      Some lesser known versions

      GoeiDOS 1.5.1 – This one is a patch to the cherished 1.5 version, this one can usually find a way to win 8 matches
      GoeiDOS Debug Mode – A state used by Sumocorp engineers to try and figure out what their buggy code is doing. Usually falls down on it’s own, or goes into reverse spontaneously
      GoeiDOS 0.5 Beta – Bootleg pre-release version that is currently for sale on the dark web. Unpredictable and usually poor sumo form.
      GoeiDOS Bouncy Castle – Created by Russian Hackers, this priated version of GoeiDOS was horrifically seen during January’s Setsubun, where Goeido was struggling to recognize his own arms and hands. Full feature and malfuction set is unknown, and quite possibly dangerous. It is rumored this version is actually quite harmless and cuddly.

      I am sure most of you are now sorry that James asked…

  5. Goeido in “bouncy castle mode”? You’re killing me, Bruce! Hahahaha!

    I also am happy to see a motivated Ichinojo. Onward, Angry Bridge Abutment!

  6. Day 8 torikumi just posted. More great stuff on tap for the weekend: we get the Mitakeumi-Tochinoshin Sekiwake clash (will the Georgian pick up his opponent and dangle him in the air again?), Takayasu vs. Takakeisho, and it’s all topped off with Kakuryu vs. Shohozan!

  7. ‘Chin bag’ where do these come from??!! Yip I’d like mean Shohozan to wake Takayasu up a bit.


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