by Jake Jacobs
19 February 2016
It is 2016 of course, but a few years back the deadline for voting was extended into the new year, while the numbering remained the same. The list has been compiled every two years since 1993, if not quite like clockwork, at least with a semblance of regularity. Despite shattering previous records, and receiving many last minute votes, the list is up on the Flint web site: //www.flintbg.com/giants.html
In 1993 there were 27 American players in the top 32, plus one Canadian. If memory serves we had forty-two voters that year, mostly Americans. It wasn't until the third list, in 1997 when Jerry Grandell reached #9, that a non-American player made the top ten. This year two hundred and fifty-nine players voted, only 27% of them American. Depending upon how one counts Falafel there were either fifteen or sixteen American players in the top thirty-two. And once again, depending upon how one counts Falafel, either the top three or top four players are from outside the US.
During the last millennium I introduced my readers to some Japanese players including Michy Kageyama, who I thought was already world class, and a kid named Mochy Mochizuki that I thought had a future. In 2005 Mochy debuted at #28, the first Japanese player to make the Giant 32. Two years later he had moved to the top ten, and since 2009 he and Michy have both been there. The past two years they have been ranked #1-#2, and this year Akiko Yazawa rounds out the top three. Rather incredibly, Akiko is the only woman to have made the list, twice now including a 17th place finish in 2013.
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