Me and Cubing
Hargun Singh Tikku (13, India)
I got my First Good Rubik’s Cube on 13 Feb 2015 as a gift from my papa on his birthday.
It was a Rubik’s Brand one.
I had gotten countless bad quality cubes that broke apart after 2 months or so, before.
That day, we went to a small trip to a resort and I brought my cube with me, downloaded the guide on how to solve it from the internet and tried learning it.
I could only do till the middle layer, and I was slow at that too at first, taking about 3 minutes for the first two layers
On the return trip, I learnt to solve the yellow cross too.
The next day, I downloaded the file which had the tutorial and learnt to solve the yellow corners too, It was permuting those around that confused me, after a week, I took a look at the tutorial again, tried to solve it while reading the algorithms and I finally did it!
I ran to my parents and showed them that I had solved it (Technically not a solve as I was looking at the tutorial too). I did that 10 more times, and then All of it was basically Muscle memory, took me 5 minutes per solve in the first week, that went down to 3 minutes in a Month, I kept practicing but it didn’t go down too much, only dropped to two minutes.
I stopped doing it because of my Exams and only did an occasional solve here and there.
I then quit cubing completely and forgot the algorithms for the last layer in a week.
After an year, I started doing it occasionally again with a speed of 2 minutes.
Then, for my 11th Birthday, I asked my massi to buy me a Rubik’s Pro Pack, which had a Rubik’s “Speedcube”, a stand, Lubricant, springs, a screwdriver and some washers.
I still being a beginner at cubing thought that this was really good, what I didn’t know was that I just wasted a 1000 Rupees on a bad cube.
It still, however was a significant upgrade from my old one.
Right after it got delivered, I opened it up, took all the center pieces out and tried to open the core, which was in the shape of a ball, because the tensions were too loose and all the springs were housed within that core, It’s been over 3 months since I got it and I still haven’t been able to open it up.
I then lubed the whole cube and put the center pieces back and assembled it.
I could solve in under a minute on it right after assembling it.
I didn’t even know of any other cube companies or any methods other than the beginner’s one.
One day, I was searching on how to improve my speed and I came upon the World Cubing Association, I hadn’t even known there was an association for it.
I looked for a competition near me and was sad to know that a Big competition a.k.a Cubing Complexity 2016 was about to happen the next day and registrations had been closed.
I saw that another competition was going to Happen in St. Stephen’s College, Delhi in Mid-January.
I told my parents about it and thought I would register around the end, in case I bought any other type of cube.
I used to bring my cube to school in late December because there were sports day practices all day and since I wasn’t a part of that, I needed something to keep me busy.
I was just sitting outside, just like every non-participant was and solving my cube with an average of a minute.
A person from 8th grade was sitting behind me and he asked for my cube for a minute. I gave it to him to see how fast he solved it.
I shuffled it for him and gave it to him and he solved it in under 20 seconds, I asked him the method he uses.
He said he uses Fridrich method/CFOP.
I asked him about the cubes he has and he named them, Gans, Valk 3, Thunderclap, Weilong GTS etc.
He told me about a website that has everything cubing related about an Indian Cubing webstore too.
I wanted the Skewb because I was just curious as to how it even turned.
So I bought the ShengShou Skewb and it was great out of the box.
I tensioned it a bit according to my liking and then it was super smooth and turned well.
I learnt to solve it the next day by the easiest method, which involved only one algorithm. It was supposed to be the easiest method and it was to solve the cube in the 25-50 second range, but I was already averaging 15 seconds, from that day.
I then registered in the competition for 3×3 and the Skewb.
Just before competition day, I lubed both of my cubes again.
I had a PTM in school on that day too and there was an intro session, compulsory for all to be held at 1:30 p.m. and the 3×3 was to be started at 2 p.m.
We reached there at 2:05 and somehow made it.
My Heat started 2 minutes after we reached there, had I been 5 minutes late, I wouldn’t have been able to compete in it.
My times were okay-ish, I got a DNF(Did not Finish) because I took 3 seconds extra for inspecting the puzzle.
Here are my times –
I didn’t do that good in 3×3.
Skewb competition was the next day, so me and mummy just ate a Samosa and Muffin each at the canteen and went back home.
The events started at 10 a.m. but Mine was at noon so me and papa left home at 11:00 a.m.
We reached there when the megaminx round was getting over (it was just before the skewb).
I did some solves in the waiting room and calmed myself as I really had to do well in it because I was hoping Skewb would be my main event in the future.
I was in the first heat, so I submitted my puzzle and waited for my name to be called.
Here are my times –
I was sad to know that I hadn’t been placed in the final round though, there were some really great cubers including one who solved the skewb in 2.xx seconds.
It was a great Experience for me.
That is how my Hobby turned into a passion.
I now have 4×4, a good 3×3, 2×2 and an awesome skewb.
Here are my PBs (Personal Best) as of now on each –
4×4 – Average – 2:30
Single – 1:34
3×3 – Average – 24 seconds
Single – 15 seconds.
2×2 – Average – 7 seconds
Single – 4 seconds
Skewb – Average – 8 seconds
Single – 5 seconds
My times have dropped drastically in a month, by learning new methods and new techniques.
I earlier didn’t even know there were competitions and now, I just register myself for every WCA recognised competition I see.
I have 2 of them upcoming in the next month.
As of 24 April 2017, I have attended 3 competitions and hope to attend many more in the future,
My favourite puzzle is the Megaminx, I find it the most fun and hope to get atleast a national record in it this year 🙂
My favourite cubers in no order are
Here is my WCA ID.
I will probably be starting a Youtube channel about cubing too soon!