Something about the Rubik’s Cube has piqued the curiosity of a second generation of cube lovers, for whom the quest for speed is never-ending
Americans have loved the Rubik’s Cube since it went on sale in 1980, and many stars of the US entertainment trade have mastered the tricky puzzle, including Will Smith, Chris Pratt and Justin Bieber. Even Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory is a fan!
So it may be unsurprising that individual competitors from the USA dominated at the 2017 Rubik’s Cube World Championship, held at the Dock Pullman, Paris, from Thursday 13 July to Sunday 16 July. It was won by speedcuber Max Park from San Diego, California, with a blistering solving average of 6.85 seconds, and third place was taken by Lucas Etter from Lexington, Kentucky.
A third American, Patrick Ponce, came seventh and recorded the fastest single solve of the competition: 5.47 seconds.
The competition’s rules mean that individual entrants solve the Rubik’s Cube five times. The fastest and slowest attempts are removed and an average time is taken so the competitor with the fastest single solve does not always win.
The top ten speedcubing competitors were all within two seconds of each other, as shown below:
Ordered by name, best single solve (seconds), average solve time (seconds) and nationality.
1 Max Park --- 5.87 --- 6.85 --- United States
2 Seung Hyuk Nahm --- 6.40 --- 7.02 --- Korea
3 Lucas Etter --- 6.23 --- 7.24 --- United States
4 Feliks Zemdegs --- 6.55 --- 7.28 --- Australia
5 Bill Wang --- 6.18 --- 7.55 --- Canada
6 Alexandre Carlier --- 5.91 --- 7.57 --- France
7 Patrick Ponce --- 5.47 --- 7.62 --- United States
8 Mats Valk --- 6.06 --- 7.92 --- Netherlands
9 Yi-Fan Wu --- 7.53 --- 8.34 --- Taiwan
10 Kevin Gerhardt --- 7.35 --- 8.67 --- Germany
Meanwhile, the inaugural Rubik’s Nations Cup, which saw national teams of three cubers competing in relay, was won by Germany, with three Rubik’s Cubes solved in a jaw-dropping 25.71 seconds.
The USA had been the pre-tournament favourite but was knocked out by Australia in the semi-finals.
Over one thousand competitors from 67 countries attended the Rubik’s Cube World Championship.
With a field over twice as large as the 2015 World Championship in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and all of the world’s best speedcubers in attendance, the 2017 Rubik’s Cube World Championship is the biggest-ever celebration of the iconic toy.
Ernő Rubik, 73, the Hungarian creator of the iconic Rubik’s Cube, attended the event, and said, “In what some people call a digital world, it’s refreshing to see that the Rubik’s Cube continues to capture the imagination of people of all ages and cultures.
“When I first designed the Rubik’s Cube as a professor of architecture in Budapest, I simply wanted to encourage my pupils to think about spatial relationships. I certainly wouldn’t have imagined that, over forty years later, it would continue to entertain and perplex puzzle-solvers.
“Something about the Rubik’s Cube has piqued the curiosity of a second generation of cube lovers, for whom the quest for speed is never-ending.”
Since its international launch in 1980, an estimated 400 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold, making it the world’s most popular toy.
To find out more about Rubik’s Cube, visit the website at https://www.rubiks.com/, Twitter feed @RubiksOnline or official Facebook page.
HIGHLIGHTS OF FRIDAY 14 JULY AT THE RUBIK’S CUBE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_MtG3UxWAA
HIGHLIGHTS OF SATURDAY 15 JULY AT THE RUBIK’S CUBE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiMcBKg3J5k
HIGHLIGHTS OF SUNDAY 16 JULY AT THE RUBIK’S CUBE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (featuring Ernő Rubik): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnJ_BUCSSHo
Images and B-roll from the 2017 Rubik’s Cube World Championship are available to journalists. We would be delighted to organise interviews with Chrisi Trussell, spokeswoman for Rubik’s Brand Ltd, and members of the speedcubing community where available.
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