Wrentham Sophomore Solves Rubrik’s Cube in Record Time
Tri-County sophomore Andrew Ricci now holds the national record in Rubik's Cube solving at 6.15 seconds.
Andrew Ricci of Wrentham, a Tri-County Computer Information Systems sophomore, recently set a national record when he solved a Rubik’s Cube puzzle in 6.15 seconds during the World Cube Association’s (WCA) United States National Championships, held August 3-5 at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
His record-breaking solve time helped him to win the title of National Champion in the competition’s Rubik’s Cube event, ranking him first in the U.S. and fourth in the world. As the U.S. champion, Ricci brought home a trophy and a cash prize of $500.
“When I realized I won, it was crazy. It’s just impossible to describe. It was such a great feeling,” said Ricci, who was accompanied at the event by his father.
The WCA United States National Championships brought together 250 competitors from across the country in more than fifteen events, ranging from the standard Rubik’s Cube solve event to one handed solve, fewest moves solve and blindfolded solve events. The WCA organizes and governs competitions all over the world for all puzzles labeled as Rubik puzzles and all other puzzles that are played by twisting the sides.
Ricci competed in the standard Rubik’s Cube event, which uses a three by three block puzzle. Each competitor is given five chances to solve their Rubik’s Cube, and the fastest time and the average total times are used in determining the event winner. Ricci’s fastest solve time was the record breaking 6.15 seconds and his average time over the 5 solves clocked in at 9.55 seconds.
Two years ago, Ricci saw a Rubik’s Cube collecting dust at his house and decided to view online tutorials on how to solve the puzzle. “I picked it up and watched a bunch of videos on the Internet. If you want to get into the theory of how to solve it, you can figure it out, but there’s really no mathematical skill needed,” he noted.
“The first time I timed myself on a solve, it took me about eight minutes,” Ricci remembered.
That eight-minute solve steadily dwindled down into seconds as he began practicing hundreds of time a day. According to Ricci, “When I was really into it, I would do somewhere between 300 to 400 solves a day. Even now, I still do 50 or 100 solves in a day.”
Last year, Ricci won a few local WCA competitions before deciding to attend the national competition this year. Although he is now the reigning national champ, he still plans to participate in upcoming area contests.
“There’s no limit to how good you can be. There’s always incentive to try harder and get better. I think I’ll still be into it for a while. I’m still practicing. It’s a fun, competitive community. There’s a lot of people who are vying to be the best,” he said.