Aki Basho: Senshuraku Stakes

Yusho Race

Today’s results have greatly simplified the chase for the Emperor’s Cup. Yokozuna Terunofuji (12-2) has a one-win lead over the veteran M10 Myogiryu (11-3). Everyone else is out of contention. A win by Terunofuji tomorrow over Ozeki Shodai or a loss by Myogiryu to Sekiwake Meisei would give the Yokozuna his 5th top-division championship. Otherwise, the two will face off in a playoff bout for all the marbles.

San’yaku Exchanges

Three san’yaku slots have been locked down by incumbents. Mitakeumi (8-6) will stay East Sekiwake. Meisei (7-7) needs to beat Myogiryu to extend his maiden appearance at West Sekiwake, but will fall only to Komusubi with a loss. Ichinojo (8-6) will be East Komusubi if Meisei wins, or take over Meisei’s rank if the latter loses.

So only one Komusubi slot will be open. Kiribayama can claim it by beating Chiyomaru; a loss would open the door for Daieisho, Onosho, Takanosho, or Wakatakakage, each of whom would need a victory and losses by those ahead of them on this list.

Juryo-Makuuchi Exchanges

Certain demotions: M16 Tokushoryu and the M15 duo of Ichiyamamoto and Chiyonoo, all 4-10. Certain promotions: Juryo champion J5 Abi (12-2) and J3 Sadanoumi (10-4). The third open promotion slot would go to J1w Akua (8-6) if he wins or if J4e Shohozan (9-5) loses; otherwise, Shohozan jumps ahead of him in the promotion queue. Shohozan probably controls his own destiny, though, as he visits Makuuchi to take on endangered M13w Tsurugisho (5-9) in what sure looks like an “exchange bout.” Also on the bubble and needing a win is M14e Kaisei (5-9), who would be demoted ahead of Tsurugisho if both lost. Kaisei is matched with J2e Daiamami (7-7), in what could also be an exchange bout depending on the outcomes of other matches. It looks like Akua will definitely be back in the top division, because a loss by Shohozan would give Akua the third open slot, while a win by Shohozan would create a fourth.

Juryo-Makushita Exchanges

Three Juryo slots are open: one by Takagenji’s removal and two by the performances of the J13 duo Takakento (3-11) and Asashiyu (the former Murata), who’s looked completely outclassed in his sekitori debut to the tune of a 1-13 record. These three slots will go to Ms1e Terasawa (5-1), Ms2e Hiradoumi (5-2) and Ms2w Kotokuzan (4-3). Ms4e Jokoryu (4-3) is in line for the next available slot, which could open if J12e Kyokushuho (6-8), whom he bested today, picks up his 9th loss. M4w Kotoyusho, 3-3, is probably out of luck even if he prevails against Asashiyu tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Aki Basho: Senshuraku Stakes

  1. Excellent analysis as always. Thank you.

    Question, what are the ranking principles or standards governing your take on the open Komusubi spot? For example, you posit a 10-5 Daiesho (M4) overtaking Takanosho (M1) at 8-7. Is a two-win advantage always enough to make up a three-ranking gap, or is there something specific about this scenario that leads to your conclusion? Among the most confusing aspects for me as a new follower is to discern consistent standards from the banzuke committee.

    • Very roughly, each win advantage is equivalent to two ranks. The tricky (and not always consistent) thing is how they break ties. Also, this gets less clear when the gap in ranks is bigger (Onosho should be ahead of Takanosho if both win, but I’m not sure it will be handled that way). And then there are special situations like if Takanosho was 8-7 at M1e instead of M1w, and there would be no place to promote him other than komusubi.

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