Ton's Cube Site
The art of speedcubing
After I met Ron in 2000, I got interested again in the Rubik's cube. At that time Ron was just starting after a 20 year break still he got times like 22 to 24 seconds. At that time I was around 45 seconds, It took Ron 3 years before I left my old method and started speedcubing. The WC 2003 was my first try in a big competition, I started my statistics learning a F2L method in June 2003, I had an average of 33.90 seconds. In June 2004 I thought I could never get faster than 25 seconds, but I got rid of this mental block and just started investigation speedcube moves, so not just algorithms. The art of speedcubing has some nice things, there is no speed limit only mental blocks, sure below 7 seconds doing 45 moves would be a limit. The speed you get is mainly looking ahead and pattern recognition , second is the turning speed, it help if you have a smooth cube.
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In a big puzzle lot that I received I encountered some issue's of The Ideal Rubik's Cube New Letter. These newsletters give a glimpse of the past tournaments and the first cubist and Rubik's hype of the '80.
History of speedcubing
After the World Championship last year of 2003, Speedcubing becomes more and more popular in the Speedcubing community, alsmost doubling each year. Official tournaments are again planned for this year. More than twenty years ago in 1981 it all started with the regional Ideal Cube-A-Thon contests.

Probably the biggest regional Cube-A-Thon qualification round took place at Six Flags on 3 Oct 1981, 2,000 contestants and 4,000 spectators watch four intensive rounds. Jeffrey Varansano (right) won this event, with an U.S. record of 24.67 sec. This was the first U.S. fastest time during a competition.  The winners of these regional  Cube-A-Thon rounds competed in the first U.S. National Championships on 13 Nov 1981. In this competition the contesters could select the cubes they would use during the competition. They also could practice with the timers. During the practice Minh Thai got the fastest time of 29.23 sec. The contesters were to compete in two heats of three contesters at a time. They could inspect the cube for 30 seconds and after a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown they started. The best time of the of two heats would be the winning time. The best time of first heats was from Lance Ahrnes with 32.05.
Minh Thai at the first  National Cube-A-Thon Minh Thai had the best overall time in his second heat and became the first U.S. National Rubik's cube Champion with a time of 26.04 (left pic).

A lot has changes since 1981. Now we share are secrets of our speedcube methods and newcomers can benefit of the more than twenty years of experience that can be found on the internet . If we compare the times of the of the qualification rounds and the finals (see below) from 1981 with current times, these where slow.
My personal best competition time of 13.28 would win many events in 1981. Now times of 7 to 11 seconds are needed to beat a best time in a competition. Me getting a 13.81 sec in competition:
With the information find on the internet today, with dedication it is possible to get sub 20 sec average, in 1980 there where only a few people that solved the cube within 20 seconds, none of them did that in official competition, today we have 1321 cubers solved the cube in less than 20 second. And a new generation passed the one starting in 2003. Age does not matter where we see a 12 year old getting 10.90 or a 40 year old getting a 9.55 or me with 47 years a 23.28, age seems to have no affect other than the time to train.

Learning and training for speed has some side effects, positive, you can see more at the same time, the effect is even bigger learning the 4x4x4. I notice the effect while driving my car, I notice after a while that I see the road ahead but also the things left and right of the road, not by turning my head but unconscious. The other thing is you learn that dedication can take you to a 20 seconds average, sure talent will get you there faster. But anyone could do and learn the cube in 30 seconds, also 20 seconds is possible with dedication and training, below 19 seconds you must have talent, turning speed and a good memory.

The only one negative is, you must never, never!!! use a bad turning cube to train for speed, you will get RSI problems like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Cube Thumb.