Shashank Naik

My Favourite Cuber

Shashank Naik (12, India)

There are many speed cubers whom I like. Some of them are Feliks Zemdegs ,Kevin Hays and Mats Valk.

Feliks is my most favourite cuber. He is an Australian speed cuber. He was born on 10th October, 1995.His age currently is 21. He was born in Melbourne, Australia. In 2015, he was an economics major at the University of Melbourne. His surname is Latvian, and his maternal grandparents are from Lithuania. Zemdegs bought his first speed cube in April 2008 inspired by speed cubing videos and tutorials on YouTube. He currently is world champion and world record holder for fastest solves in 3×3,4×4, 5×5 , 6×6 and 7×7(single).He is my favourite because he is the world champion and he was the one who inspired me to do speed cubing. Before that I used to solve it only for fun, but, now I try to keep breaking my own records as well as the records of my friends.

feliks zemdegs

The first unofficial time he recorded was an average of 19.73 seconds on 14 June 2008. He currently uses CFOP method (fridrich method) to solve the 3x3x3 cube, Yau method to solve the 4x4x4 cube and the CLL method to solve the 2x2x2 cube. Zemdegs won the first competition he attended. He also won 2×2, 4×4, 5×5, 3×3 Blindfolded, and 3×3 One-Handed. At his next competition, the Melbourne Summer Open (January 2010), Zemdegs set his first world records for 3x3x3 and 4x4x4 average, with times of 9.21 seconds and 42.01 seconds respectively. The most world records he has ever held at one time was after the competition in Melbourne in May 2011 where he held 12 records. He has been interviewed many times by various medias like test Australia: the national IQ test , new york times to name a few. Tutoring is his current occupation.

Kevin Hays is also my favourite cuber. Kevin hays is an American Rubik’s Cube speed solver. He was born on 12 may, 1994,in White Rock, Canada. He is 22 years old. Hays grew up in Renton, Washington, where he started speed solving during his freshman year of high school in January 2009. Hays then attended college and continued speed cubing at Washington University in St. Louis. Hays now lives in Seattle, Washington. Besides being a speed cuber, he is a NCAA DIII swimmer.

kevin hays

Recognized as an expert at solving big cubes (5×5, 6×6 and 7×7), he has won 5 world championship titles and set 16 world records across the three events. He has also set 29 North American records and won 19 US National titles. At Hays’ first competition, US Nationals 2009, Hays placed 4th in the 6×6 event and made finals in the 5×5 event.

The following summer, at US Nationals 2010, Hays won the national title in the 6×6 event, finishing with a winning average of 2:36.44. Hays broke his first world records the next year at US Nationals 2011, solving the 6×6 cube in world record single and average times of 2:02.31 and 2:09.03 respectively

Hays attended his first World Championships in October 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. Despite holding the 6×6 world record average that he set at 2011 US Nationals, Hays was placed last in the finals, with a result of DNF (Did Not Finish). He placed 2nd in the 7×7 event with an average time of 3:46.99.At the US Nationals 2012, Hays won the 4×4, 5×5, 6×6, and 7×7 events, and placed 3rd in the 3×3 event. Hays has been US National champion in the 5×5, 6×6, and 7×7 events at every US Nationals since 2012. He is also currently the world record holder for solving the most cubes underwater in a single breath , that is 8 cubes.

underwater cubing

In 2013, at the World Rubik’s Cube Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hays placed first in the 5×5, 6×6, and 7×7 events, becoming the first person to win all three events at one world championship. At the 2015 World Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil he defended his 6×6 and 7×7 titles, and placed second in the 5×5 event behind Feliks Zemdegs.

Finally , I am going to write about Mats Valk who is a Dutch speed cuber. He was born on 4th May , 1996 in Amstelveen ,the Netherlands, a suburb of the Dutch capital Amsterdam. He broke the Rubik’s cube world record twice with times of5.55 seconds in 2013 and 4.74 secondsin 2016. He also became the runner-up of the Rubik’s cube world championships of both 2013 inLas Vegas, NVand 2015 inSao Paulo, Brazil. Mats Valk is currently placed 3rd on the world ranking.

mats valk cube 3x3

Mats Valk is most famous for breaking theRubik‘s cubeworld record twice and being the runner-up at both the Rubik’s cube world championships of 2013and 2015.He first broke the world record with a time of5.55secondsat the Zonhoven open 2013 in Belgium on March 3, 2013. This record stood for over 2 years. Later he broke the world record again; now with a time of4.74 secondsat the Jawa Timur open 2016 in Indonesia on November 6, 2016. The record is now held byFeliks Zemdegs, lowering the record by 0.01 seconds to a time of 4.73 seconds. Besides these 2 world records, he also broke the 4×4 world record 3 times in the past. By breaking the 4×4 world record with a time of 26.77 seconds, he was the first to get an official time below 30 seconds. Mats currently holds the world record for solving the most Rubik’s cubes in 1 hour with 374 cubes solved, set in Paris on October 21, 2015.

Mats has broken 6 world records, 16 European records and 87 Dutch national records. He broke European records in many world cube association main events such as the 3×3 cube, 4×4 cube, 5×5 cube, 2×2 cube and 3×3 cube one-handed. This being difficult in his early days as his fellow countryman Erik Akkersdijkwas widely considered as the best speed cuber of that time.

Mats also is the creator of VLS (Valk Last Slot), a set of algorithms that solves the orientation of the last layer (OLL) while inserting the last corner-edge pair of the first two layers (F2L). Mats used one of these algorithms as his last step in his 2016 world record. Paying off all the hard work he put into developing this method. This method is very useful to solve the cube. Mats has posted tutorial videos of the method in YouTube. Mats solves the 3×3 cube with the green or blue face on top, which is in contrast to most other speed cubers. This is a partial consequence of him being colorblind.

Mats is in his last year of his bachelor’s degree Business Analytics at theFree University of Amsterdam. In 2016, he was on a semester exchange at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Mats is also a businessman: he collaborated with the Chinese brand QiYi Mo Fang Ge to set up his own brand, The Valk, creating cubes according to his own specifications. The design of the mechanism and the performance of the cube have to be approved by Mats Valk himself before the cube is mass-produced and sold. This was to secure all cubes released under this brand are top quality. The first cube released under this brand was the Valk3on August 15, 2016. This cube is widely considered as one of the best Rubik’s cubes available now and is used by many other world class speed cubers. This is due to the fact the cube is very smooth, stable and doesn’t have to be perfectly aligned to perform the next move. The size of the cube (5.55 cm each side) is a reference to his first Rubik’s cube world record. He set his 2016 3x3x3 world record using a special magnetized version of this cube put together by , known as the Cubicle Valk3 M. According to both QiYi and Mats, they are now working on a new, better version of the 3×3 cube as well as a 4×4 cube, likely to be named Valk4.

I would like to conclude writing that, if we keep practicing we could be as fast as these speed cubers.