I'm just scanning the Net and I noticed there still is a lot new Rubic's Cube stuff out there. In my early years I was slaved by the cube. I joined several contests since I met this puzzle in may 1981. First was a local contest in september 1981, I became second and needed 40 seconds. Marc Waterman won this contest in 36 seconds. We were allowed to use our own cubes. My seconds contest was the Dutch Championships in April 1982. We had to use new cubes. I think this is at least 20% slower. I was amazed I won this contest in 29 seconds. Marc Waterman became second using 32 seconds. I was allowed to joined the World Championships in june 1982 Budapest.

Marc and I did a lot of traing together from September 1981 till this championships. We always took average times for 10 cubes. Before I entered these world championships Marc had an avarage of about 20 seconds, I did about 23 seconds (we were allowed to look 5 seconds ahead without touching the cube) We used our own cubes. Another funny thing we did is the marathon which means solving 42 cubes without pause. Marc did about 16 minutes. I never became under 18 minutes. On new cubes Marc and I did about the same time on new cubes, about 25 seconds average. We both had strong hands because He played guitar and contra bass, I did guitar and piano.

When I entered the world chapionships I was amazed by the speed of the hands of other competitors. Most of them were faster than I was. However on new cubes you need strong hands (fingers) and suprisingly I slowed down only a little while other participants slowed down 20% to 50%. So the German guy, wo was the favorite, did not enter in at he top 10. Minh Thai won in 22.8 seconds, I became seconds in 24.3 seconds. I noticed I needed less moves than any other particiant while solving the cube. I used about 52 moves on full speed and just under 50 moves when slowing down. I used Singmaster counting (R2 is one move, R1 L1 is two moves)

Marc and I still speeded up hands after these one and only world championships. Marc got down to an avarege of about 16.4 seconds, I got down to 19.2 seconds. Marc did he marathon in less than 15 minutes! Absolute records a nonense in this bussiness, Marc and I both once did in less than 10 seconds. Marc Waterman is the fastest i saw until now but he lost interest in he cube. He became a farmer on reform products. Jessica Fridrich is the seconds fastest I heard so far (17.0 seconds).

So far so good. I lost contact with the puzzling world for a while. Maybe I will enter again later on. I still can solve the cube between 20 and 30 seconds (I don't know what my average will be). I'm very interested in other speed cubing information since these World Championshipstill now. I think I'll need a day training again to get my avarage under 25 seconds.

Gus.

Here is a short description of my system I used since september 1981 for solving the cube.

1) edges of (green!) top face (intuïtive)

2) 4 times: corner of green face together with adjecent edge

if middle layer (intuïtive + some short patterns)

3) corners of third layer (1 pattern out of 21)

4) edges of third layer (1 pattern out of 17)

5) a third layer positioning move for 75% of the cases

I use about 50 patterns for this algorithm. Most of them I found myself, some of them are found by others. For the third layer (step 3 and 4) I use he fastest patterns thinkable. I am sure about this because all U-layer patterns are found by computer by Hans and Kurt Dockhorn (Voorschoten, Netherlands) somewehere in the middle eighties. This yielded in a maximum of 11 moves for step 3) and 13 moves for step 4). This is using Singmasters counts, i.e. R2 is 1 move, R L' (slice) is 2moves. the avarage here is just under 20 moves for step 3) and 4)togeher.

At high speed this algorithm takes between 50 and 55 moves. At lower speed the average can drop down under 50 moves. My record is about 45 moves on average for 10 cubes each solved within a minute. At that time I use a lot of formula's that does not appear in my regular my high-speed algorithm. During the period 1984 to 1994 I always solved the cube as many times as needed to count less than 50 moves just before I went to sleep. This always prevented myself forgetting my algorithm. By now my average is still under 50 moves when slow-solving.

One of the great advantages of my algorithm against any corner-starter algorithm is that it is much shorter when counting in Singmaster moves. corner-starter algorithms always use a lot of slice moves in the second half of their algorithm. As expected slice moves take as much time as two non-parallel moves on a new stiff cube. This conclusion was timed using a video camera on Marc Waterman hands by Klaas Steenhuis (1983). Note that Marc Waterman used a highly evolved corner-starter algorithm developped by Daan Krammer and Marc Waterman himself. They claimed an average between 40 and 44 slice-counted moves for their algorithm.

During the first (and last) championships on april 29 1982 in Utrecht (Netherlands) each competitor had three attempts on a new and very stiff cube. I won this competition using 29 seconds. Marc Waterman and Daan Krammer became seconds and third using 31 and 33 seconds respectivly. One of the cubes was so stiff that one of the organizers could not find anyone to solve it within a minute till he came to me. With some luck I solved it in 46 seconds. So this was almost twice as slow as for fast (greased) cubes.