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Stefan Pochmann and the Rubik’s Revolution

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Credit: Sven Gowel

Background by Stefan himself:

Great times we had there. US Open 2007 in Chicago, that was in a donut&icecream shop behind the hotel, I think. I had been bashing the revolution online in the previous weeks for being much advertised as a “new and improved Rubik’s cube” when it really didn’t even turn. Even rejected one I was offered as prize for a mystery puzzle. But in the evening, when I got my hands on one, I did like it for what it actually is and came up with more and more methods. I am competitive, after all. This must’ve been method 4b or so. I went on to win its side event at WC2007 with Dror, we both got the maximum score of 999. Then won with 2854 at US2009 (by then they had taught the sound chip to count higher), which got crushed by Toby’s insane 4334 at WC2009. Quite a journey from first hating the thing (and now I have that song in my head again, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” which Dan and others enthusiastically sang in the hotel there… such great times we had).

Written by macky

July 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Meeting THE Breandan Vallance

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Author: Anthony Brooks

It hadn’t even been a year since I had first solved the cube, but I already couldn’t imagine life without it. When I found out that my family was going to visit my uncle in Monaco during Spring Break ’09, I practically sprinted to the computer. Minutes later, after verifying that the French Open was going to take place while we were in Europe, I had already laid out an entire “game plan” to my brothers as to how we were going to convince our mother to take a detour to Paris. Even after executing my plan to perfection, it took relentless begging to convince our mother to commit, but eventually she conceded and as soon as she began making arrangements, we began practicing.

Now to put things in perspective, at the time, Yu Nakajima was the 3×3 world record holder and sub 12 was the current sub 10. Breandan Vallance, however, was still a relative unknown outside of the UK. Sure, he was ranked in the top 40, but then again, many of today’s active cubers don’t even know who Kanneti Sae Han is (but that’s another story…). As the competition drew nearer, Breandan became a hot topic on the forum as people began realizing how fast he was (particularly at PLL). When I checked the website one day and noticed that his name was added to the “registered competitors list”, my brother and I flipped out. We were going to get to meet THE Breandan Vallance.

Several weeks later, totally jet-lagged after getting off the plane in Paris, we all headed straight to the hotel for a much needed nap. Upon arrival, we were too exhausted to even cube in the lobby as our mom checked us in. However, a sudden surge of energy appeared when we heard familiar clicking sounds emerging from around the corner. I didn’t know who the first few visible people were (The Hungarian group), but as I saw a kid with long, curly hair turning the cube unbelievably fast, a chill ran through my body. As they proceeded to walk out of the lobby, THAT guy noticed me staring and gave a polite smile and wave as he departed. When I turned around, pale and out of breath, my mom quickly asked what was wrong with me in a tone you would only expect to hear from a paramedic. I was at a loss for words. When I finally mustered up the ability to speak again, “Bre-brean-breandan just walked by…” was all that came out.

My mom’s never let me forget it.

Written by macky

December 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm