Over the years as the Rubik’s Cube and similar puzzles have grown in popularity, there are a few people whose contributions have deeply impacted the community and even the basics of the puzzles that we all take for granted. Here are just a few of the names that have helped push the Rubik’s Cube further than it was ever thought possible.
Where else to start than the cube’s father? Rubik is 71 years old and was born in Budapest, Hungary. He was responsible for the creation of the cube and was intelligent enough to figure out his own solution to the puzzle (something very few people today can claim). He has made every cube or puzzle similar to the original 3×3 possible with his original idea. The cube has entertained generations and is a toy that never grows old. As each new generation comes, more puzzle enthusiasts follow suit. Now, Rubik spends most of his time promoting the involvement of science in education.
As the Rubik’s Cube grew in popularity, so did the idea of speedsolving it. Over time more and more people became interested in not just learning how to solve the cube, but how to solve it quickly. In the first World Championship in 1982, Minh Thai became the image of speedcubing by solving the puzzle in 22.95 seconds, winning the tournament. He also wrote a guide to solving the cube called The Winning Solution.
When speedcubing began to get more and more popular, the necessity for a good method that had lots of room for improvement was ever growing. Fridrich came up with a method known as the Fridrich or CFOP method. It breaks the cube down into different steps, each of which solving a different part of the cube, and then uses algorithms to finish the last layer without disturbing the rest of the cube. Over time this method has proved to be incredibly effective, and was used to solve the cube in 4.90 seconds, the current World Record.
The world of speedcubing has gained a lot of popularity, and with more solvers comes more records and extraordinary achievements. One of these is Feliks Zemdegs, an Australian speedcuber who single-handedly lowered the 3×3 World Record Single and Average by several seconds, breaking several barriers along the way. He also holds 8 World Records currently, and is within the top 500 for every event he has competed in (Top 300 excluding Skewb Single). He has been, for the most part, the face of speedcubing due to his achievements.
Ron Van Bruchem
Before 2003, there was no official organised way of meeting other cubers, and some cubers didn’t even know that others like them existed. However, in 2003 Ron Van Bruchem helped to create the World Cube Association, responsible for most of the World’s Rubik’s Cube competitions to date. Not only can you compete with other people in your country and across the World for National and International records, but you can make new friends who share your hobby and even purchase or trade some new puzzles. All of this would not be possible without Bruchem, a man who truly helped bring the community together.