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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #521 Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2022 11:37 am 
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Today Sumire played in her qualifying group for the Hiroshima Aluminum Cup / Wakagoi (Young Carp) Cup, to be held in November, I think.

She won 3 games, and will be in the main event. The first game was against Suzukawa Natsumi 1-dan, the second against... someone else :mrgreen: (sorry), and the last against Taguchi Misei 2-dan, from the Kansai Kiin. I happened to watch this game, because time conditions were faster than usual.

I thought it was more or less even. Sumire (white) had a big territory on the left, and when it looked like she was going to close it, she let black go inside, and even rescue a small group, dead for a long time. I didn't understand, what is she thinking... and short after I realized that white had cut off the whole group, and more. Black resigned without even trying to make life (desperate position). Really scary.

Someone said here that usually Sumire bullies her opponents (the ones in her rank range). Today it was like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #522 Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2022 12:36 pm 
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Someone said here that usually Sumire bullies her opponents (the ones in her rank range). Today it was like that.


From what I've read, I don't think it's that so much as simply the fact that she reads deeply and is confident in her reading. But also, in this case, she was put in a special all-female group where she was the top seed. Takao Mari benefited from a similar arrangement and so, with Rina already through (I think), and Asami being the reigning titleholder, there will be at least four females in the finals. This effing alliteration makes one think of another well known phrase or saying of surprise :) But it seems appropriate that it is notoriously difficult to differentiate the sex of young carp in real life!

The player you couldn't read would be Cho Chen or Sakuramoto Ayako but I haven't checked the results yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #523 Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2022 1:52 am 
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It's not that I couldn't read the names (NK website does this for me). It's that, as all games are played the same day, I still didn't know the results of the first round, so I didn't know Sumire's 2nd opponent. It was Cho Chien 2-dan. And yes, an all female group. The point, in the end, is to have a good group of finalists (16, btw). Veterans, rookies, male, female...

About the last game, my comment, and the "bullying":
I saw a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n03a7lUQaaI) with an analysis about the game. In Japanese, but only the tone of voice, the pointing of moves and variations are useful. Well, to the point: when I thought "the game is even", white was already quite ahead in winning chances. In my defense, even in these cases, the gap in points is usually not big (to an amateur eye). And when I thought "what is Sumire doing?", black was ahead (about 56%) for a brief moment. Then, Sumire followed her plan and game over, although black had some things to try. Things that Sumire had probably read out.

I understood (and used myself) "bullying" as playing better than the opponent and giving no chance to the opponent. Between pros, both sides always have a chance, even small, but in this forum I think we can accept this language.

Ah! and, crushing your opponent's spirit is also a requirement for "bullying". :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #524 Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 4:27 am 
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Does anybody know if these 3 preliminary games count towards promotion? The Nihon Kii-in page (https://www.nihonkiin.or.jp/player/rank.html) seems to indicate they count. But I have doubts that they should, since they are very fast games

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #525 Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 1:44 pm 
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Go Weekly gives an interesting table as of 2 September. It shows the top 9 or so players in each ten-year age group this year so far. Top is defined in the usual Japanese way as number of wins. Usually, winning lots of games means losing few, but there are exceptions. But still, winning tends also to mean advancing to the more prestigious and lucrative final staged of events.

What the table shows is the those in the group 20-29 win the most games. The range is 38 wins to 23, for the top 9, and top is Ueno Asami with 38 wins (and 14 losses). Ichiriki is next on 34-18.

The only players. All other age groups are, on average, noticeably below the level of this group (top in the 50-59 group for example is 17 wins, and the range for the top nine is 17 to 12 wins.

There are only two outliers. Both women. One is Suzuki Ayumi who tops the 30-39 group with 27 wins, next being a mere 21.

The other is Sumire, in the 10-19 group. She has 34 wins, just like Ichiriki, but only 16 losses. And is way out on top of this group, of course.

Rina is in the 20-29 group, and in third place behind Ichiriki with 29-12.

This post really belongs in the Amazonians thread, but Sumire seems to be the cynosure.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #526 Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2022 12:15 am 
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silviu22 wrote:
Does anybody know if these 3 preliminary games count towards promotion? The Nihon Kii-in page (https://www.nihonkiin.or.jp/player/rank.html) seems to indicate they count. But I have doubts that they should, since they are very fast games


They should count.

In other tournaments, there are some comments: only main event, amateur opponents included... So, if preliminary games didn't count, it should be stated.

Those were faster games than usual, but not too fast. 1h30 per player+byo yomi. These time rules are typical (or close) in some international tournaments, and that's not a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #527 Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2022 12:50 am 
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Yesterday, Sumire played a game in the Oza, B prelim.
The victim was Nakaonoda Tomomi, 9-dan. I don't know this player. Perhaps one of those 9-dan from the Oteai times? Anyway, looks like Sumire was in control all the game, or most of it.

The next opponent will be Xie Yimin. The winner goes to the A prelim.

According to a comment I read in twitter, Sumire is 2 wins away from promotion. Can this be right? If not, I don't know where she is in the prize money list.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #528 Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2022 5:45 am 
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pajaro wrote:
According to a comment I read in twitter, Sumire is 2 wins away from promotion. Can this be right? If not, I don't know where she is in the prize money list.


By my count, she has 28 wins, so she would need 12 more wins for promotion. But it's possible I didn't count them properly.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #529 Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:30 am 
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Today, Sumire played her only game in the female Kisei prelims. She beated Kuwabara Yoko, and will be in the main event. Again.

Sumire has played this tournament every time since she became a pro. I'd like this tournament to be her first big success.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #530 Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2022 1:58 am 
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silviu22 wrote:
pajaro wrote:
According to a comment I read in twitter, Sumire is 2 wins away from promotion. Can this be right? If not, I don't know where she is in the prize money list.


By my count, she has 28 wins, so she would need 12 more wins for promotion. But it's possible I didn't count them properly.


I just read this tweet:

https://twitter.com/Nihonkiin_pr/status/1575019840032886784

John told, at some point, that it would be nice to have this kind of information available for fans. Well, maybe it is, but we don't know where to find it.

So, Sumire is actually 2 wins away from promotion. Maybe Silviu didn't count some international games. She will play Motoki Katsuya in the Gosei (2022/10/06) and Xie Yimin in the Oza. Wouldn't it be nice to get promotion with these games?

Also, Osuka Seira 1-dan and Takao Mari 1-dan are 1 win away from promotion to 2-dan. Takao became pro in 2019, like Sumire. Just saying... (Osuka, in 2020)


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #531 Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:25 am 
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It is interesting that nearly all the females that have been making their mark recently became pro by recommendation.

Apart from Sumire, Osuka and Takao, there are Hane Ayaka, Yanagihara Saki and Yokota Hinano. The previous usual insei-style of progression seems almost to have fallen into abeyance for girls. I suspect this betokens some seismic shift in go culture, but I have no idea what.

And of course we may be seeing the start of a similar. shift for boys, with Fujita Reo.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #532 Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2022 8:00 am 
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I had a hint of that but didn't know enough history to really pick up on it.

My thinking is that this situation follows other parenting trends in the modern world. They can't just send their little kid off to insei school, especially not a girl. There's not enough hand-holding and who knows whether the insei school serves organic milk and god forbid if they use dryer sheets--the mommies would be up in arms.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #533 Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2022 12:39 pm 
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Actually ... having raised sons (and now with four great-grandsons) I had a very different thought.

Back when Sumire was made pro skipping being first and insei, my though was, assuming she really was that good at such a young age (and it has turned out to be the case) that this wasn't a matter of protecting the girl but protecting the boys. Imagine if instead they had her spend a year or two as insei among the boys, crushing all of them. What would that have done to those tender male egos, not just being beat by a girl but by a little girl.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #534 Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:00 am 
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As far as Sumire being the real life Akira Touya, it is difficult to say. One year a bit after Antti Törmänen became pro, I noticed that the Nihon Kiin had a bunch of female pros, and did assume it was a sort of pro by recommendation tactic and thought, ah, they must have been copying the Nihon Kiin. This implies it wasn't unique to Sumire but already a trend, perhaps in response to the Women's Korean Baduk League becoming the most popular show on baduk TV. In addition, the Japanese culture of saving face applies to those senior in age or rank, but I don't think they really anymore care about that with regards to the gender of people who just grew out of their baby teeth in this particular context. *dumb rant* Since morbidity makes you honest and the Z in Gen Z is just N sideways--Generation Narcissist--anyway, so I'll speak up for those with neurotypes somewhat similar to mine in this context who by very nature would not like to involve ourself in this sort of topic even though it severely disadvantages us. While mentioning personal experience is always good, people extrapolate wrongly. Essentially, boys are the ultimate sexists but when they grow up and become men, they magically become sensible and 'appreciate' or 'respect' people, which is the exact oppposite of my experience, the concept of relationships, and has always been friendship-like romance proper and glorifaction of gender differences in relationship extremely tasteless and cringeworthy, even though 'everybody does it', and don't forget the now trendy, 'equality of 'opportunity'. Whether due to genetics or upbringing or 'being the oldest', if anything I would get a and did not contemplate even the possibility that anyone would somehow be annoyed at girls doing well at any age. So when I was 8 I'd get annoyed at Anne in the famous five for not being 'braver' (despite hypocritically being the ultimate wimp myself) or the 'the wreck of the zanzibar is my favourite. Treating people differently based on superficial characters always seemed stupid and childish too me even at like 8, and thought all physical characteristics are superficial because we're inherently spiritual beings. That's my 8 year old thought process. It's when I was under 18 I was most 'feminist'--for lack of a better terminology--with zero outside influence necessary. However the tendency of people, especially adults, to stereotype and overgeneralise, and the more important an adult thinks it is, essentially ends up with people in general making completely false assumptions because their personal experience with 'boys' says that boys do this behaviour. It also fits in to the idea that benevolent adults are needed to 'teach' children morals, and it makes adults feel less guilty about their morals--or lack thereof. It's equally possible much morality would probably naturally children if left to their own devices but they learn immorality from the harsh world around them. So the adults probably have a net zero effect on children's morality. So even at 24 I'm annoyed enough about that that I refuse to embrace 'adult perks' or embracing anything 'grown up' whenever possible, give me the kids stuff haha :lol:. Normally I'd just let it slide but I just woke up. Yeah so the ability to work hard and make money is worthy of respect but has absolutely nothing to do with whether you're emotionally mature or not in regards to social relationships. If adults all around the world became humble in this regard the western world wouldn't be a polarised cesspit of 'snowflakes' and 'fake free speech absolutists'
80% of the philosophical work adults, it's just that a few key point of knowledgeable a huge advantage. Or perhaps adults want to do everything to downplay the importance of things they ca't control by denying the fact that personality type is way more important than environment, since society has developed the narcissistic desire to be 'the one in control', whether indirectly through a higher being, or directly though identity philosophy, It's still narcissism*dumb rant*

Needless to say, I strongly disagree with a female pro qualification. It would be way better for the female-only exam to instead be for a 女段 which would still be an amateur rank. It would only signify that your an amateur who can have the opportunity to participate in pro tournaments, but you still play in amateur tournaments when you're not an insei. You won't get a game fee but you could get prize money, so if the young woman is really talented she'll do well enough in youth tournaments like the Shinjin-Oh to support continuing her insei studies. In the case of the pro recommendations, at a young age, I actually think they're a good idea since girls get easily socially influenced past the ages of 12-14. This means it's best to nab them when they're young. BUT more or less the same standard of talent should be used for boys and girls for me to be okay with it . . . It sounds like TheCannyOnion propaganda but I don't think it should be considered a radical opinion! This is also the best way to counter girls tendency to give mindsports up due to social pressure, since it's not 'girly' enough, not what's expected of them or not what they're friends are doing. In General, Women are more aware of social environment, and In General, kids are more affectable by peer pressure, so with girls it the best--or rather worst--of both worlds, caveat, In General! There are many women, kids and girls with either uniquely independent or free personality types, or have a brilliant upbringing that promotes it, or both! Just so the grow-ups reading don't overgeneralise and stereotype. For the majority of girls, 女段 would allow girls to be half-in, half out, essentially, which is generally what people go for when they want something but society looks downs on it, so they can say to others or themselves, they're not not like their friends, they're just aiming to be a 女段, not a pro.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #535 Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 1:03 am 
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Why is it hard for people to realize that being pro in the Nihon kiin and the Kansai kiin because of a "recommendation" is a huge recognition of a players abilities and a great honor. They are basically being invited. Also not being an insei is simply a personal choice, there are also outsiders in the professional exams, and joining the insei program is only one path.

Some of the comments above :roll:

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Post #536 Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 3:55 am 
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Why is it hard for people to realize that being pro in the Nihon kiin and the Kansai kiin because of a "recommendation" is a huge recognition of a players abilities and a great honor.


Unless I've missed something, the only person I can recall denouncing the recommendations has been TheCannyOnion referenced by Elom.

The who, what, when, where in the tabloid version of the stories is clear enough. What is worthy of discussion, as in more ruminative magazines, however, are the why and how.

For centuries, promotion by recommendation was the norm in Japanese go (and, interestingly, didn't exist in China). The first person to try to change that was Honinbo Shuho in Meiji times. The why and how were very interesting then. He was living in an era when Japan was swallowing western ideas wholesale, and he himself saw value (through the Hoensha) in meeting various eminent foreigners - ambassadors and people like the chemist Korschelt. He wished to spread go throughout Japan and saw value also in international links. Without going into any depth, the hows and whys reflected major cultural changes which included the introduction of an insei type system (though they were then called jukusei). Things didn't quite work out, because of his premature death and probably also because of a reaction to over-westernisation. It could be said that the go world went back to promotion by recommendation, except that in reality it became much worse - it became promotion by negotiation. In short, the various factions that emerged in Meiji and Taisho times reflected another cultural shift. (You can promote your pupil A if you let me promote by pupil B.)

This changed again when the Nihon Ki-in was formed and promotion by numbers became the norm - the Oteai. Rather than number of wins, the varying number of points attached to the various outcomes determined promotion (wins, jigos and losses all scored points, and depended also on the handicap). The numbers of points varied after various arguments and alternative values were put forward (mainly in the pages of Kido, with fractions being favoured over decimal points!), and self evidently this was a huge cultural change. Change made more interesting by the fact that the old system didn't die. Not only did Go Seigen become a pro by recommendation, he was able to leap to 3-dan at once. Thereafter he had to follow the Oteai system, except of course that he didn't, hence the argument about promoting him to 9-dan. And Go's case was not entirely exceptional.

Defeat in World War II imposed a vast number of cultural changes on Japan, even down to primary school level. But go was mostly immune to this. Why? Another interesting question.

Skipping forward to modern times and so overlooking some other changes (e.g. the gradual demise of the live-in system), and also simplifying somewhat, the abiding question in recent times for Japanese go became "how do we catch up with Korea and Japan." This was behind the major change whereby places in preliminary events became dependent on previous results and not on rank or age. The old system where 9-dans had automatic places in a Final Preliminary and new or low dans had to start in the First Preliminary every time was abolished, in the hope of fast-streaming young talent for the international stage. Parallel to this, private sponsors (such as Nakano Koji - a best-selling novelist) donated or bequeathed money to hold special events for young pros, again with the explicit goal of preparing them for the international stage. All of this is yet another fascinating cultural change, made even more interesting by a debate over whether it is actually working.

The latest apparent change in go culture, the rise in recommendations, is fascinating in its own way, although, like the French Revolution, it's maybe too early to pronounce on it.

If, nevertheless, I am allowed to speculate on it, I think I see the following strands. One is to speed up even further the process of getting the best young talent to the international front lines.

Another strand is a recognition that the insei league system has had its day. Almost all the new talent joining the Nihon Ki-in in recent years has come from the Ryyokusei Academy and the schools of Fujisawa Kazunari and Hong Malk-eun Saem. Their players may well also play in an insei league, or visit other go schools and salons, but they are associated predominantly with the above organisations. This in itself is a topic fertile for discussion.

A third clear strand I see is the one brought up by Elom: the progressive death by stealth of the semi-formal separate female pro qualification. What I see behind this is the move towards equality. The western idea of Japanese women being downtrodden is a misconception, even historically (Murasaki Shikibu and female ninjas for starters) but also in more modern times. If that surprises you, look up Kato Shizue. She was a feminist who caused extreme irritation for the government in the 1920s. She had the very odd platform of demanding the suffrage for women and also birth control. But her belief in birth control was based on eugenics. She could be called a far-right socialist.

But, whatever the actual achievements of Japanese women, it cannot be denied that they lived in a world, largely shaped by men. And so it was in go. It also cannot be denied that the idea of parallel male and female go systems, while philogynistic in some ways, also had a large sexist element, as comments by male professionals in articles and commentaries amply attest (e.g. "women's go is all about fighting"). Nowadays, however, women are taking part more and more in events with men, and are doing well, and so the old parallel system may be, if not withering away, then fraying at the edges. This, too, is an area worthy of discussion, and my first guess is that it is mirroring moves towards equality of the sexes in mainstream society. One of the more interesting aspects to discuss would be whether go is following society, or whether the success of go women is promoting equality. Another aspect is how much of equality amounts also to integration. The rise of go clubs such as Tojima Hana's Dream Go Salons (Tojima is a J-pop star) where smelly make smokers and gropers are not welcome may suggest a parallel system of a different kind is emerging.

Some of the other more family-oriented or child-oriented points made above are also part of the mix, in my view, but at a lower level. However, whichever way you look at it, is a truly fascinating topic worthy of wider discussion rather than dismissive simplification.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #537 Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 5:03 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Unless I've missed something, the only person I can recall denouncing the recommendations has been TheCannyOnion referenced by Elom.


I think you missed the point, which was that it is very attractive to get the recommendation if you can earn it and not that someone denounced it. It is not preferable to join the insei program when the kiin is ready to accept someone directly. I think this is so obvious that it is hardly worth more words.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #538 Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 7:33 am 
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kvasir wrote:
John Fairbairn wrote:
Unless I've missed something, the only person I can recall denouncing the recommendations has been TheCannyOnion referenced by Elom.


I think you missed the point, which was that it is very attractive to get the recommendation if you can earn it and not that someone denounced it. It is not preferable to join the insei program when the kiin is ready to accept someone directly. I think this is so obvious that it is hardly worth more words.


Yes, the Kansaii Kiin uses a system exclusively of recommendation by top pros. As odd as it seems that this is considered another job of top pros, as another poster posited. Interesting also is that even very strong pros like Iyama Yuta and before him Lee Sedol, don't seem to be able to have as much sway on the association as you might think.

I remember distinctly that Ueno Asami nearly qualified through the open pro exam like Xie Yimin did. Under my system she would haved earned the right to be invited to pro tournaments as an amateur and then in the next year she would probably have qualified through the open exam :) today the Nihon Kiin should accept reality and replace the female exams with an extra place in the main exam and just give the highest finishing female who doesn't become pro automatic invitation to all pro tournaments she would otherwise be eligible for if she was a one dan pro.

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Post #539 Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2022 1:47 am 
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Back to the topic (Sumire), today she gained promotion to 3-dan, effective tomorrow (as of the date of the post, of course).

According to:

https://twitter.com/KK_joryu/status/1580478159119847426

she won 2 games in the prelims of the Teikei Cup, one of those new tournaments. Perhaps this is the kind of games Silviu didn't count.
Looking at the photo, you wouldn't think she wants to pose.

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Post #540 Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2022 2:12 am 
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Looking at the photo, you wouldn't think she wants to pose.


Maybe because she's now behind Cho Chikun: 1 year 7 months to 3-dan compared to his 1 year 4. But let's not forget it's a tougher promotion regime nowadays.


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