Need for speed: Rubik's Cube speedcuber Laurence Livsey on how he cracked the cube

Following the 11th annual Rubik’s UK Championships last weekend, what’s it like to be a speedcuber in amongst all the action? Jade Burke catches up with John Adams’ Laurence Livsey, who is a speedcuber with a current solve time of 6.97 seconds under his belt, to see which events he took part in and how he solved the mystery of the Rubik’s.
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What’s it like to be a competitor in the Rubik’s UK Championships? 
This was my 20th Rubik’s Cube competition and my 4th UK Championship – I still get super excited in the few days leading up to the competition, and put in some hours practicing.

What’s great is that you get to experience a new city with friends old and new, it’s a real community – and what makes it special is that we all share a very niche interest. Despite the fact that we are competing, everyone roots for each other –sharing tips and tricks throughout the weekend – the main enemy is the time!

What events will you be taking part in?

This year is a little different, because I was there as an employee. I restricted myself to only a few events. Rubik’s Cube 3x3x3, 4x4x4, 5x5x5 and one-handed. Normally I would also compete in blindfolded, 7x7x7 and more, but this would take too much time, especially since I had a mosaic to build.

How quickly can you solve the cube? 

Usually it takes me around 13 seconds or so to solve a Rubik’s Cube. My fastest ever timed solve was 6.97 seconds. At the weekend I managed 12.22, which is actually pretty far away from the winning time of 7.85 seconds.

How did you go about learning to solve the Rubik’s Cube?

The best thing to do is to pick one up and start turning. After a while you will get a feel for how the cube twists and turns. Only a very talented (or extremely determined) person will manage to figure it out all by themselves.

The best bet is to turn to a good tutorial on YouTube. With the help of that, I honestly think that 99 per cent of people would be able to do it if they just sat down for a few hours. It’s getting fast at it that’s the difficult part.

When did you first discover your talent for the cube? 

I think that in my case it was more about my addictive/competitive personality. Once I had done it for the first time, I practiced a lot and constantly tried to perfect my technique, and over the years my times have steadily reduced.


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