Page 3 Profile: Feliks Zemdegs, rubik’s cube solver


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The Independent Online

Fingers at the ready…

While you were sunning yourself this weekend, the Rubik’s Cube World Championship rolled into Las Vegas – and a new king of the multi-coloured cube was crowned.

How fast did he do it?

Quicker than it will take you to read this profile – his speediest solve came in at an astonishing 7.36 seconds. And at the tender age of 17, it’s not like the Australian contender has had long to perfect the art.

I can’t even tie my shoelaces that quickly.

Guess what, it’s not even the world record. That’s held by Mats Valk of the Netherlands, who twisted his way into speedcubing history in March by completing a 3x3 cube in just 5.55 seconds. Valk, also 17, came a close second to Zemdegs this time around.

3x3… you mean there are other sizes?

Certainly. The World Championships saw competitors battle it out on the 2x2 cube, the 4x4 cube - which Zemdegs also won - all the way up to the 7x7 cube.

Next you’ll be saying people can do this thing blindfolded.

Yup. There were 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 blindfolded contests, as well as a foot-solving showdown and a one-handed solve – which Zemdgegs took the trophy home for.

So he’s like the most famous speedsolver ever?

He has Will Smith to fight for that one. He can solve a cube in less than two minutes – a feat he learnt for the film The Pursuit of Happyness, in which his homeless character impresses a stockbroker with his skills and lands a job. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air also solved one a lot faster than that, blagging his way into Princeton.