Introduction to Cubing

by Richard Taylor : 2019-02-10

Solving a Rubik's Cube as fast as possible is a very popular passtime. In 2017 a thousand competitors from around the globe met at the World Championship in Paris. The standard was very high, with the top 98 competitors all completing their 5 first-round solves in an average time of under 10 seconds.

The biggest cheer of the event was reserved for Ernő Rubik, the inventor of the 3x3x3 cube, who presented some awards and gave a rousing speech.

Prof Rubik in Paris 2017
Ernő Rubik at the Paris World Championship 2017

But you don't have to be super-fast to compete. The cubing community is very friendly, and even lets people as slow as me take part.

I am never going to win any prizes for speed, but I do have an enduring fascination for this puzzle, which I first solved in the 1980s.

One particular event that I have recently become more interested in is the Fewest Moves Challenge (FMC). Where the objective is to solve the cube most efficiently (in one hour) rather than quickly.

To help me practise I am developing some software tools on github. And these will be the subject of most of the articles in this thread.