In this post, I will share to you a glimpse of the latest method on how to solve the Rubik’s cube blindfolded.
The old method of solving the Rubik’s cube blindfolded is popularized by Shotaro Makisumi and Leyan Lo. The advantage of this method is the use of few algorithms and the disadvantage is heavy memorization of pieces. The new method (commutator) has less memorization of pieces and you can see on many videos that they can memorize the cube in ten seconds or less.
Marcell Endrey is one of the Rubik’s blindfold solver who popularized the use of commutator. He uses DRF (white-blue-orange) as his corner buffer and UK(white-orange) as his edge buffer. My label may be different because every player has his own label or notation.
A Rubik’s cube has eight corners and twelve edges. There are four corners on the top and four corners on the bottom. There are four edges each on the bottom layer, middle layer, and top layer. To memorize the cube, you need to put your own label on every side of the pieces. The corner has three sides (three colors) and the edge has two sides (two colors).
For example, the corner orange-blue-yellow on top can be labeled as FRU (front-right-up), blue-yellow-orange as RUF (right-up-front), and yellow-orange-blue as UFR (up-front-right). But this type of label is hard to memorize so it is advisable to replace them with letters. For example, for the corner orange-blue-yellow, we can say J-M-C. During actual solve you only need to memorize one letter and not three letters for corners depending on the required algorithm which I will explain to you later. Similarly, you only need to memorize only one letter for every edge.
Usually, you only need to memorize eight letters for eight corners and twelve letters for twelve edges. If you are serious about solving the cube blindfolded, then it is advisable to study memory methods like mnemonics. Basically, this method will make memorization easier because you can create a word out of these letters that you have read on the cube. If you can create one word for the corners and one word for the edges, then you only need to memorize two words for the entire solve.
The only disadvantage of the commutator method is the use of too many algorithms. This may not be a problem if you can understand how a commutator works. You can search for some video tutorials if you are serious about blindfold solving.
I will show to you how the experts solve the cube blindfolded using commutator by the simplest scramble:
Base on the picture above, the cube can be solved by moving DRF (white-yellow-orange to RUF (blue-yellow-orange), and by moving RUF to DFL (white-orange-green). The algorithm is DRUR’,D’RU’R. In my own notation, it can be memorized by just two letters, MU where M represents RUF and U represents DFL.
In a regular solve, the corners can be solved by memorizing only eight letters. The same method applies for the edges. The edges can be solved by memorizing only twelve letters. You will notice on a single solve (one cube), the solver memorizes the edges first to make a word for those twelve letters and then memorize the eight letters for corner. The short term memory system for the corners enable him to recall it and when the corners are finished, he will recall the word (mnemonics) or whatever memory system he uses for the edges.
For multi-blind solve (two or more cubes), the cuber has different memory system. This should be a long term memory method like the roman room method, and the journey method.
The current top three world record for a single blindfold solve is around 17.xx seconds. In one of the videos of Jeff Park, he memorized the cube in around eight seconds. Let us assume for a regular solve that there are four algorithms for the corners, and six algorithms for the edges. If a cuber can execute each algorithm in just one second, then solving time is around ten seconds. If we can memorize the cube in eight seconds, then our total time would be 8 plus 10 or 18 seconds. Base on the top records, they manage to execute the algorithms in less than expected.
The blindfold cubers work hard to practice their own finger-friendly algorithms because those are totally different from speedsolving algorithms. The algorithm that I mentioned above involving R,U, and D is probably the fastest combination related to speedsolving. You can make your own algorithm using these letter combination method but there are so many cases that you have to learn more and practice more to be able to catch up with the top blindfold cubers. Marcell Endrey sometimes uses some not-so-finger-friendly algorithms probably because he wants an easy recognition.
We can summarize now how the top Bld Masters solve the cube:
- Learn how to memorize the pieces in less than 10 seconds.
- Learn how to make fast bld algorithms for all the corners and the edges.
- More time to practice.
featured image source: pixabay