Rubik’s cube course preview

Remember that scene from the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness where Will Smith’s character solves a Rubik’s cube in the back of a taxicab to impress his potential employer? He solved it in seconds, leaving his new benefactor speechless and starting his career as a 1980s Wall Street stockbroker.

You might think this type of thing only happens to the occasional whiz kid, but solving the Rubik’s cube is something you can learn.

Rather than turning to a YouTube video, Delft students and affiliates can learn from one of these young experts in person. The seventeen-year-old Mats Valk, a Dutch native who holds the current world time record for solving the standard three-by-three-by-three cube, will give a demo and tutorial session to attendees at the Sport and Cultural Centeron Friday, September 20th.

Valk is what they call a speedsolver, and the sport he plays is speedcubing; he tries to beat his and his opponents’ solving times at every match. Several Rubik’s cube competitions are held every year, but to qualify for a world record title, the World Cube Associationmust approve the event. In March of this year, Valk solved the cube in 5.55 seconds.

Other events exist, from solving anything as small as a two-by-two-by-two cube to ones as large as seven-by-seven-by-seven. Some people even play to solve the cube while blindfolded.

Chances are that if you already know how to solve the Rubik’s cube, you are ready to play for speed. When you show up for Valk’s class, you will be able to join one of two levels, beginning or advanced. In the advanced class, be prepared to learn higher-level solving techniques to enhance your solving time.

If you feel like you might need more guidance, Valks will bring three of his protégés to deliver more tailored attention to you.

Getting to Valk’s level requires commitment and a bit of artistry. The truly dedicated know all of the shortcuts and even develop their own algorithms. It also helps to be really dexterous, which may or may not be teachable.

Valk may give you the tools you need to solve the cube, but improving your speed will require much more effort than attending this one course. But for the enthusiast, it is a good place to pick up some sure-fire tips.

Cubes will be provided, but if you have your own, bring it. The event starts at 8:00 p.m. and is free. 

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