They call him "Artificial Shintelligence".
"The nickname stuck because my playing style resembles that of artificial intelligence. I like it."
Shin Jin-seo learned the game from his parents who ran a baduk academy, and was already making an impression before he reached his teens.
"I hated going to preschool so instead I spent time at my parents' institute and just naturally learned."
Last year, the 20-year-old reached the top of professional baduk, shattering his idol Lee Chang-ho's national record set in 1988 to post a year-end win rate of 88.3-7 percent.
And he's currently ranked number one in the world by goratings.org.
COVID-19 has forced baduk to move online, where players compete against one another remotely.
The shift has resulted in some technical mishaps that even Shin couldn't avoid.
"I had never been more caught off guard. Of all places, the mouse miss HAD to happen at the Samsung Cup, one of the biggest tournaments out there."
But Shin says baduk's digitalization can also help players develop their strategies by imitating AI's calculated approach.
"It's become crucial for today's players to accept AI and make it their own. Shin Jin-seo seems more compatible with AI and absorbs its moves better than other pros."
Accepting that artificial intelligence is now unbeatable, he has found meaning in minimizing the gap between it and human intelligence.
"I want to become the best of my generation and the greatest to play since the arrival of AI."
Later this year, Shin will face off against China's Xie Ke on baduk's grandest stage, the Ing Cup final a chance to prove that he is the world's best.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.