2 weeks ago
So, it's been a little while since I posted a blog (or anything else) on here. This is because in the last two months I was fortunate enough to travel and compete in seven countries for the Latin America Cubing Tour 2017, and then travel across to Europe for the London Open and the 2017 World Championships in Paris. I'll definitely write up a detailed blog about the LA Tour in the coming weeks, as well as resume content creation for the website!
I managed to get an official 5.97 average in the first round of the Colombian leg of the tour, so in the meantime I thought it would be a nice idea to go through the reconstructions of these solves and insert a bit of commentary. Big thanks to BrestCubing for the "official" reconstructions.
The first round of 3x3 at this competition took place on Saturday morning, just after the 6x6 and 7x7 rounds. I was in a pretty early group, and because there were almost 250 competitors, it was quite a busy morning.
Scramble 1: B' U2 R2 F' U2 L2 B' D' B' R2 B R' F2 L' B2 U2 B U'
This was quite a nice scramble for red – a fairly straightforward extended cross which preserved the blue-yellow F2L pair.
Inspection: x2 y
X-Cross: r' U' R2' F' U' F' D2'
2nd pair: U2 L' U L
It’s always nice to plan two pairs in inspection. After this, I inserted the back left pair, also noting that the F2L edge that belongs in the front-right slot was already oriented, so the F2L (and entire solve) turned out to be rotationless.
3rd pair: U' R U2' R' L U' L'
4th pair: U2' R U2' R' U R U' R'
The last layer was also quite standard, with no AUF required before the T permutation.
OLL: r U2 R' U' R U R' U' R U' r'
PLL: R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U' R U R' F' U'
5.55 seconds, 51 moves (STM), 9.19 TPS
Scramble 2: L2 B2 L2 D2 L2 F' R' F2 D R' F2 R U' R' D' L' R
Okay, so the white F2L on this scramble was insanely easy. In fact, I was only 1 move away from an 8 move double extended cross. Luckily enough, the second and third F2L pairs in the solve made up for that mistake.
X-Cross: F' U' R D r F r'
Notice that if we insert a single U move after the F' U' R, we get a double extended cross (and save a free pair!). Oh well, everyone makes mistakes. The second and third F2L pairs were done at the same time – not sure how I saw that and executed it in an official solve. I think what might have happened is that I tracked the green-red F2L pair during the X-cross, and as I was solving that pair, saw that I could insert the green-orange into the back right slot.
2nd and 3rd pairs: U' y' R' U2' R2 U' R2' U' R
The 4th pair was quite a straightforward case – just a simple rotation and insertion.
4th pair: y' R U2' R' U' R U R'
A few people wondered why I didn’t do OLLCP (L' U' L U L F' L' F) once I got to the last layer, which would have given me a U permutation instead of an N permutation. The main reason I didn’t do it was because I was able to predict the OLL case as I was solving my last pair, so I had the chance to eliminate any pause between F2L and OLL. Additionally, the above algorithm is a little bit awkward for me to execute, and under competition nerves, I’d be more likely to mess it up. I’m not sure whether the time spent pausing to recognise CP and executing the slower algorithm would have been saved by an easier PLL.
OLL: U2' R U R' U' R' F R F'
Finally, the PLL algorithm that is greater than God’s number. Don’t think about that for too long, it’s pretty distressing.
PLL: R U R' U R U R' F' R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U2 R U' R' U'
5.64 seconds, 54 moves (STM), 9.57 TPS
Scramble 3: U' B2 R2 U2 R2 U B' L' U L' F' R D L' B D' F2 U'
This scramble had a 4 move cross on red – fairly standard for colour neutral solvers. I planned the first pair (back-left slot) in inspection as the corner and edge don’t change position after executing the cross solution.
Cross: R2 D R2' F'
1st pair: U' R' U R U' L U L'
The second pair that I solved was the blue-white pair, for no particular reason other than it was what I saw first. Perhaps the best pair to solve after cross + 1 would have been the front left pair (U' R U R' F U F'), as it leaves the two remaining F2L edges oriented, so the last two pairs could have been solved using just R and U moves.
2nd pair: U' L' U L y' U' L U L'
The third pair I solved was the pair which belonged in the front-right slot. I think both remaining F2L pairs were equally valid options, but it just happened that my lookahead/tracking meant that I saw the green-yellow pair first. At home, I probably would have tried to insert it using F U F', but after such a nice start to the average, I didn’t want to mess around with any even slightly risky fingertricks.
3rd pair: d' R U R' y' R U R'
After pairing up the last corner and edge of my F2L, I chose to do a U2 before inserting them in order to force a sune for OLL (and avoid the pi case). Pi is my least favourite OCLL.
4th pair: y U R U' R' U2 R U2' R'
Sune and T perm was a nice last layer combination to execute under pressure.
OLL: U R U R' U R U2' R'
PLL: U R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U' R U R' F' U
6.58 seconds, 61 moves (STM), 9.27 TPS
Scramble 4: B D2 B U2 R2 B' U2 F L' D' U R D L F2 L2 F2 L
In inspection I saw that the 6 move yellow cross would result in the pieces of the back two F2L pairs ending up in the top layer, and both of the edges were oriented. So, lookahead would be pretty easy, and it was just a matter of knowing that I wouldn’t need to rotate, and executing the cross and first two pairs as quickly as possible.
Cross: r' U2 R2 D' R' D
1st pair: R' U' R U R' U2' R
2nd pair: U' L U L'
The last two pairs were quite simple, nothing fancy to see here. This was a pretty easy F2L
3rd pair: U' L' U L d R U R'
4th pair: U2 R' U' R
So, because I know a lot of T ZBLL cases, my instinct with this OLL case is to just orient my edges (with F R U R' U' F'), and hope that it pays off. In fact, in my 6.54 average and my 6.45 average records, I did the exact same thing – FRURUF to ZBLL. I guess it’s just a habit of mine, but I should probably stop doing it until I know full T ZBLL.
EO: F R U R' U' F'
As it happened, I got quite a nasty case for ZBLL, but it worked out okay in the end.
ZBLL: U R' U2' R U R' U R F U R U2' R' U R U R' F'
6.67 seconds, 55 moves (STM), 8.25 TPS
Scramble 5: D2 L2 U R2 U' B' D R B' F R2 D' U2 B2 R2 D L B2 L2
The cross for this solve was fairly standard – I again did it on red (because red = fast). I noticed that the blue-yellow F2L pair pieces would not move from their starting positions, so even though they weren’t super easy to execute, I was able to do the cross and first pair in one look.
Inspection: y x'
Cross: D F R D2' F
1st pair: U' L U' L' U' y R U' R'
After this, there was a connected pair staring me in the face… so obviously I chose to break it up and insert the green-yellow pair. I was in a bit of a hurry – no time to stop and think!
2nd pair: y' U2 R U' R' L U' L'
With the edges of the last two F2L pairs oriented, it was time to spam TPS.
3rd pair: U R U R' U' L' U L
4th pair: U R U' R' U R U' R' U R U' R'
Easy T ZBLL? Yes please!
ZBLL: U' F R U R' U' R U' R' U' R U R' F'
5.70 seconds, 54 moves (STM), 9.47 TPS
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