For more than three years, Shin Jin-seo, 9th dan (23), has held the position of the strongest player in Korean baduk. Now, beyond Korea, even in China and Japan, it is hard to find articles that can compete with him.
On the 10th, Shin Jin-seo defeated Lee Won-young, 9th dan, in the 24th Maxim Coffee Cup finals, the 3rd round, held at Konjiam Resort in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, and won the championship with a total score of 2-0. After joining in 2012, he achieved his 30th personal championship in 11 years. It was such a one-sided victory that his opponent, Lee Won-young, said, “I thought it was my prime until this match, but I was beaten so badly in the final.”
Shin Jin-seo, who met with reporters after the match, said, “Last year, I thought too much about the world competition, so there were many bad matches in the domestic competition. So this year, I thought I would just focus on the game, so I played Go well in both domestic and world competitions.”
Shin Jin-seo, who participated in and won the Maxim Coffee Cup for the first time after joining the 9th dan, which is called ‘Immature’, took four years to stand at the top of the Maxim Coffee Cup again. There were a lot of great matches that he couldn’t solve, and there were also bitter come-from-behind defeats. In this tournament as well, he was driven to the brink of defeat against his first opponent, Lee Ji-hyeon, 9th Dan, and then he did not miss the opponent’s mistake and questioned him, and managed to win a come-from-behind victory. Shin Jin-seo said, “In the meantime, something was a little twisted. There were several times when I felt as if I was getting caught up in the momentum when I met strong people in their 30s. I thought he would fall in the first game this time too, but luckily he won and came this far,” he said with a smile.
The momentum of Shin Jin-seo, who had been unrivaled in recent years, reached its peak this year. He hasn’t even gone through April yet, and he’s already played 40 matches, of which he’s won 37 times. The win rate is 92.5%. Even though there are many great powers left, it is a really great pace. In particular, he has recorded 19 consecutive victories, starting with defeating Park Jung-hwan 9th Dan in the final of the KBS Baduk Match on February 26th.
Shin Jin-seo, who is challenging the dream record of ‘annual winning rate of 90%’, pointed out that this is not all good. Shin Jin-seo said, “If I were a Chinese knight, my win rate would have been in the upper 70%, and if I had used more strength, I would have had a win rate in the low 80%. I feel that the Chinese knights have such a mindset that they will definitely win against me. Even in Korea, I feel the same way when dealing with the golden generation knights born in the 80s.” It’s not that there’s a 2-3 point difference in skill, so of course I can lose, but there are times when I feel uncomfortable even after the match is over because I feel like I won in this area.” It means that we should not give up halfway from the beginning and go in under the pressure of the ‘name value’ given by the name Shin Jin-seo, but let’s try a ‘hot’ game properly. Shin Jin-seo added, “If you are Master Kang Dong-yoon or Master Won Seong-jin, you will never give up (match) against me under any circumstances.”
Shin Jin-seo, who achieved 30 championships in the 11th year of joining the team, expressed his intention to finally aim for 80 championships by adding 50 in the remaining Go life at the official press conference held after the championship. With the current momentum, it seems possible to win 100 times, but Shin Jin-seo has a slightly different idea. Shin Jin-seo said, “I don’t think that the 11 years so far and the next 11 years will be similar. I am focusing on all competitions right now, but I do not know if I will be able to maintain my current mindset until I reach my 40s when I will have achieved many goals.” It’s a huge record, so I can’t feel it. Obviously this record is unlikely. I think I can catch 100 championships if I set a goal, but I honestly think it’s impossible.” 스포츠토토
Instead, Shin Jin-seo clearly emphasized that he wants to win world championships more than China’s No. 1 player, Ke Jie 9th dan. So far, Kerze has won 8 championships and Shin Jin-seo has won 4 championships. Shin Jin-seo said, “There are only wins and losses in world competitions. Still, I’m ranked number one in Korea, so I think Kerze should definitely surpass it,” he said.
From the perspective of the world competition, this year is an important year for Shin Jin-seo. The finals of the ‘Go Olympics’, which dragged on for a while, have been confirmed to be held in Shanghai, China in August, and the Hangzhou Asian Games will also be held in September. World competitions hosted by Korea such as Samsung Fire & Marine Plantation and LG Pear as well as Mongbaek Hapbae will be held again this year. Among them, what Shin Jin-seo pays attention to is the Asian Games and the final match against Ing Si-bae against China’s Shaker 9th Dan. Shin Jin-seo said, “Eng Si-bae must win the championship and win the gold medal in the Asian Games. The burden is honestly great, but it is natural, so there seems to be no problem,” he said. Along with this, “In the meantime, when I won the world competition, I always won uneasy. Last year, Samsung Fire & Marine Plantation was a bit (content) good,” he said. Go skill is also a skill, but rather than that, I hope it will be a year that strengthens my view of baduk and beliefs.”