My Haru Banzuke forecast was right on target, if I do say so myself. In the upper ranks, the only deviation from the real thing was that I swapped the two Sekiwake after Tamawashi’s yusho, following what I thought was the precedent set when Mitakeumi and Ichinojo switched sides after the former won the Nagoya basho. Apparently, that was a one-off exception, and Takakeisho stayed on the East side despite finishing behind Tamawashi. Congratulations to Shin-Komusubi Hokutofuji on his sanyaku debut.
I am especially pleased with how close I was in the M1-M6 ranks, as this was a tricky area based on the Hatsu results, with a number of possible solutions. My only error was switching Tochiozan and Shodai at M3w and M4e, and I am beginning to see Bruce’s point about Shodai’s inordinate banzuke luck, as by all rights a 6-9 M1e should have stayed ahead of a 7-8 M3e.
In the M6-M12 ranks, I got a few things wrong. I thought Asanoyama would be promoted a rank after posting an 8-7 winning record at M8w, but (unusually) he was only moved to the East side, with Takarafuji taking the M7w slot instead, and Kotoshogiku filling the vacated slot at M8w. I also had the Ryuden/Yago and Yoshikaze/Chiyonokuni pairs in the wrong order.
In the lower ranks, I correctly called the number (5) and identity of promotions from Juryo. While I had Tomokaze making his debut at M13, I did not move him up quite far enough, as he ended up on the East side, ahead of Kagayaki. I am a bit surprised they let Kotoeko keep his M15w rank despite a 7-8 losing record, when there was room to demote him to M16e. In any case, this bumped Daishoho, not Toyonoshima as I had forecast, into the lowest promotion position. And as predicted, Yutakayama and Chiyoshoma were fortunate to hang on to the bottom two rungs of the Makuuchi ladder.
To sum up, I had the right rank for 33 of the 42 Makuuchi rikishi, and in 26 of these cases, I also forecast the correct side. Most of the misses were by half a rank, with the exception of Takarafuji and Toyonoshima (one rank) and Daishoho (one and a half). This is my best prediction by the total number of correct ranks, if not quite by Guess The Banzuke scoring, and my second top-ten finish in that game.
On to the basho!