Have you ever stared at a scrambled Rubik’s cube with no clue on how to solve the puzzle? Findlay High School Junior Braden Richards faced this dilemma in mid 2015 after trying a posted algorithm. Richards notes that, after finding a tutorial on YouTube, within a week he could solve the cube in around three minutes, and continued to improve from there.
“How I learned to improve was through one of my current friends, Steven Wintringham, who I met early freshman year at Findlay High School,” Richards recalls. “At the time, I averaged around 45 seconds and he averaged 25 seconds, which I found to be crazy fast back then. When we both found out we liked to solve, he introduced me to competitions, other types of cubes, and improving.” And, as Richards notes, “The rest is history.”
The World Cube Association
The World Cube Association (WCA) is a non-profit organization that helps to organize and run speedcubing competitions. It was founded in October 2004 and has since held thousands of competitions worldwide. World records, continental records and national records are recognized through the WCA, as well as the statistics of every single registered competitor.
“My involvement started on March 19th, 2017 when I attended my first competition in Ann Arbor after my friend Steven introduced me to the WCA,” Richards states. “Since then I have attended seven competitions prior to attending my second nationally organized competition in July in Salt Lake City, Utah.”
Inspiration and goals
Although Richards finds it challenging, he narrowed down why he enjoys competing to two things, “It would definitely be the socializing, and the difference in competitive aspect. Cubing competitions are one of the best places to meet new people who have the same interests and hang out with friends.”
“In competitions, I normally go in with goals set. It’s not often that every single goal comes true, but one goal I have managed to keep is called a PB Streak (Personal-Best Streak) ––for every competition you go to, at least one of your results has to be better than your previous. My streak is seven competitions, and I have improved, bringing my average on 3×3 down from 33 seconds to 13 seconds. (I currently average about 12.3).”
And he’s not done yet! Richards hopes to spark interest in others and get more people involved. “I want the stereotype that you have to be a super-genius to solve a Rubik’s cube to be shown to be wrong, as a Rubik’s cube isn’t as hard as it may have seemed.”
For more information about the World Cube
Association visit worldcubeassociation.org