So, how did my banzuke forecast fare this time? I have to say I’m happy with it. Let’s review what I got right and wrong.
- All nine san’yaku ranks correctly predicted, including Endo taking the West Komusubi slot over Hokutofuji and the absence of any extra Sekiwake and Komusubi slots.
- The joi maegashira correctly predicted, with the logjam resulting in Tomokaze getting the short end of the stick and only moving up four ranks to M3w despite racking up 11 wins in Nagoya. In fact, my banzuke guess exactly matched the real thing from Y1e to M5e.
- Promotions and demotions correctly predicted, with four of each. Chiyomaru was the last man out, and will occupy the top Juryo slot at Aki. Yutakayama takes his place, making his return to the top division at M16e. Tochiozan and Takagenji survive at M16w and M17e, respectively. The top unsuccessful promotion candidates, Daiamami, Takanosho, and Chiyoshoma, will try again from J1-J2.
- The only real surprise for me was seeing Ryuden fall only to M5w after a dreadful 4-11 performance at West Komusubi, not because the placement itself is that lenient, but because it unnecessarily limited the promotions of Shimanoumi and Myogiryu, both 8-7, to only half a rank. Ryuden was one of my two misses by a full rank. The other less surprising one is Tsurugisho at M14e, a rank lower than I predicted. I really went back and forth on this one, but ended up ranking him ahead of Kagayaki and Nishikigi so that this 7-8 duo would receive more appropriate demotions; the banzuke committee decided to under-demote them and limit the rank at which the Juryo yusho winner makes his Makuuchi debut.
- These two misses caused some local differences of half a rank between my prediction and the official banzuke. I also had a few pairs of rikishi at adjacent ranks switched: Kotoeko and Okinoumi, Takarafuji and Terutsuyoshi, Onosho and Enho, and Azumaryu and Yutakayama.
Overall, I predicted 28 of the 42 Makuuchi ranks exactly, and had the correct rank but wrong side for 4 other rikishi. That’s 60 points by Guess The Banzuke rules. 8 of my 10 misses were by only half-a-rank, and the other two by one rank. Overall, this is probably my most accurate forecasting effort to date. Because the 8 half-rank misses get no credit in the game, it’s not my best GTB performance, but I am happy to finally crack the top 10 in the rankings!