My goal to learn the Zborowski-Bruchem method
My Progress:

October 27, 2005: Did a 50 cube average today using ZB. I've taken a break from ZB for a while to practice Fridrich for the WC. I'm not ready to use ZB yet except for a small fraction of the cases I know (basically the first ones I learned around 6-8 months ago I will use if I see in competiton). Anyway out of these 50 cubes I got two sub-13 solves! I got a 12.63 and a 12.71! So that made me happy :-D Anyway here's the info from Netcube.

The best RA from this session was 17.11:
17.82, 18.15, 15.66, 17.66, 18.82, 18.72, 15.75, 15.75, 17.92, 14.88, (18.97), (12.71) = 17.11

----- JNetCube Session Statistics for Thu Oct 27 22:11:58 EDT 2005 -----

Cubes Solved: 50
Total Pops: 0
Average: 18.84

Fastest Time: 12.63
Slowest Time: 31.28
Standard Deviation: 03.28

Individual Times:
1) 19.78 L2 B' U2 D' L R F B D' R' L2 D U' L' F2 U2 B' R2 D U' B R U L' U
2) 15.64 D' U2 F L2 B2 R' F2 R' B L U' R2 U' R2 U B2 U' B R' U2 B2 D2 L R B
3) 18.24 B F D' F' D R B' L2 R B' F R D F2 U F U D' F2 R2 B2 R' B R U2
4) 18.68 R2 B2 F2 U R2 U2 D F2 U' B2 U' B2 D R L2 B' R L2 F2 R L F' U' R' L2
5) 19.16 B R2 D' R' L2 B D' B F L2 U2 B U B' U L' U' R D2 U2 F D U2 B L'
6) 17.69 D2 L' R U F2 B2 D' B F2 U' F L2 R2 B' D2 U R F' U2 R U2 D' R2 B' F
7) 18.38 L2 R D' U' F R2 L' F2 U F2 U R U' L2 B U2 L2 U F' L' U2 D F' U' F'
8) 17.40 F D F U' L' F L B U' B2 R2 D2 B D2 F2 B L U' F L' R' F2 U' B D
9) 21.39 R' F' B D2 F2 L2 R U' D' L2 U2 D2 F L2 U2 F L2 R' B' F2 U2 L2 U' B D'
10) 20.81 R2 U' B R2 D' R2 B' L R2 F U' B' L F U D B2 D2 U R2 U' R' L2 D R2
11) 16.52 L' D' R' D2 R' L D2 L B' L' D' B2 R D' F' D2 U B2 L D2 B2 D R' L2 B
12) 16.58 D R B' F L' R U2 D2 L' D2 L2 B F' R' F' D2 L' B U L2 R' F' D' B U'
13) 20.62 L2 F' B2 U2 D' L' F R' L2 D U2 R' D' U2 B' F D L R' B2 F D L B R2
14) 20.39 L2 F' U F D2 U F U2 F2 D2 R2 D2 L2 F R2 L2 U2 R' D R' B L B2 L D
15) 12.63 R2 D' B L' D' R' L2 B2 F2 R U' F U2 F2 L2 R B2 U' L' B' R' L2 B' L U'
16) 19.36 U' F' D' L' B' L B' L2 F2 U F U2 R D2 R U2 R2 B' L D' U2 F2 D F' U'
17) 15.98 U L2 R2 B2 U B' U L2 R' U' B2 F2 D2 B U' B R' F L B2 L R B2 D2 L'
18) 18.47 D' R' F2 L D B2 U' F2 U2 L2 F2 B2 D' L' D' R2 U2 B2 D U F R' U F' D'
19) 26.47 R' F' U F' R' B' F' U' R2 L2 U D' F U2 F' U' D' L F' D2 B2 L F' U' D2
20) 21.08 U L' R2 F2 U2 D2 B L' D2 U' F2 R2 B2 D2 U' R' D' L F' R2 B D' L B F'
21) 21.87 U F L2 U' B L F' B' L U' R2 L F2 D' U2 R2 F D2 B' U2 F' B2 R L U
22) 16.38 F' B' L' B' R' L2 B' F' R2 B2 L' B2 R2 D2 R' U' L' R' B' R2 F2 B R2 U' B
23) 24.53 D L' R2 D R2 U L2 R D2 B U' D' R D L' B R' F2 D' R' B' U2 L2 B2 U'
24) 17.82 D' R2 D' F' L F R U2 L R2 D' B U2 F R' B F' U B2 L' D' U2 B2 D2 U
25) 18.15 R L' F' D R L' U B2 L2 U D' F' U2 B U D B' F2 D2 F U' B R B2 F'
26) 15.66 B2 U2 B' R' L' B R2 D2 L' B' L2 D' U' B2 R2 U' L R' B D R2 L' F D2 L2
27) 17.66 R' F2 D R' U2 L F B U2 F' U2 D' R' U' F B' D2 F' D R F B2 R2 D' L'
28) 18.82 F2 D2 L' D' U' R2 L B2 F R U2 R2 D2 F2 U D L' B' L2 U' D' R' F' B' R2
29) 18.72 R2 B2 L B2 U' D R' D B' F' D U R U R2 L' U2 F2 D R2 D' R U' L2 U
30) 15.75 L' U2 L' R D2 U2 B2 U' D2 L' B' U2 D' R' U' F' U2 F R L U2 L R U' R
31) 15.75 B L D F2 L' B L D2 U' F' D' U' L' F U' L' R2 U2 D L B' U' F' R U
32) 17.92 F R2 U' R' L U2 R' F' U' B' F' U F D2 B' U' F2 D' R2 D L' D L' D2 F'
33) 14.88 F2 R B2 U2 L2 F2 L U' L B D2 R2 U F' R U' F' R D' F2 U R2 F' L' U'
34) 18.97 L R B F' L2 D' L U2 R U2 R2 U' R U' R2 B2 F' D F2 U R D' U' R2 D
35) 12.71 R2 F2 U2 L' R F D B U2 B U2 F U' R L U2 B D' R' D' F D F' R' L2
36) 20.20 U B2 R U F D' R U' F' R' L' U2 L2 D2 U' R2 B' F U' L F' B2 U' F L'
37) 17.52 R' D' U2 L2 D B2 D L2 B F2 D' F' U' R F' U' R L' F U2 D' L U2 B D2
38) 18.03 D2 U2 B' F' U' F2 L' D L B D' R U R F' L' D2 U L F2 U2 B' D2 U2 F
39) 19.39 B' D L U L2 U F' D2 R U2 B' D F2 B R' F2 L2 B' F D2 B' R' B2 D U2
40) 15.35 L' D F' R L' D R' L F D' R D U2 R' L2 U L2 U' R D' R' D U2 F' R2
41) 21.91 U R' B2 U2 D' B' U D' B2 F2 L' R2 B R B2 R' D R' B' D' U2 L2 R2 U' F
42) 22.08 L2 U' R' L U2 L B' L' F' L' R D' B R2 D' R2 U L2 R' F2 U2 R2 L F2 R
43) 24.25 R' D' U2 L' B L R2 U F' D' R' D2 F2 U2 L B2 F2 R' D2 R2 B2 U2 D F R
44) 17.84 F2 L2 U' R F' R2 D' U F' B2 D2 B2 L D2 R2 D2 L2 F' R2 B2 D' U' R2 D' B'
45) 16.81 F U' B U L2 F R2 L F' D' L U' B R' L' B2 L D L D' B2 L' U L R2
46) 18.19 U L B2 R2 L' D2 F' U2 B L2 R2 F' R B2 L2 D' R' F L2 F' U2 L' R D F
47) 22.30 L' F D B R2 F2 B' D2 U' R2 U' R B L2 F B2 R B F R' U R' D' R2 L
48) 18.88 B' U' D2 R2 U L U2 D' R' L B U B D2 U2 B' F D B' D' L R' D' R2 B
49) 31.28 D2 R' F2 L R2 F2 D' L' D L' R B2 R' B' L B L2 U D B' L R2 F' U R'
50) 16.99 D2 U' R2 D2 B L2 R2 U L' R' F U' R' L' B2 L F R' B' L F B U D' F

October 13, 2005: New ZB average record today. I'm getting closer to sub-16 with ZB, and since I've already done it with Fridrich I know that I am capable of getting sub-16. I just need to learn more ZBLL algs.

(11.63), 18.24, 13.81, 16.48, 15.21, (20.05), 18.97, 16.62, 17.77, 15.84, 14.89, 15.55 = 16.34

This was actually not a rolling average, that first solve was just really fast. Can't wait until I get sub-16 with ZB and can show the naysayers that ZB is worth something as a speedsolving method. After the WC I'm going to learn the rest of the U orientation pretty intensively and then move on to the L, then the sune and antisune and then the two cases with four unoriented corners. Can't wait until I can prove the ZB method is fast, but it will take at least through the U orientation and into the L I think before I can think about sub-16 averages. I mostly just want to prove that it can be done and prove the naysayers wrong.

October 11, 2005: I put my foot in my mouth. Apparently practicing ZB has sped up my Fridrich solving quite a bit. I just set a new record Fridrich average, done after practicing ZB. Until yesterday I hadn't really done any Fridrich solves since Caltech Dallas (2 months ago), and now switching back to Fridrich from ZB makes the F2L and OLL and PLL decisions seem so easy (so few choices).

Anyway here are my Fridrich and ZB averages for today:

16.33, 17.04, 17.81, (22.50), 19.17, 16.96, 20.63, 16.16, 17.22, 17.07, 17.58, (15.05) = 17.60
(15.17), 17.40, 16.04, 16.17, (21.41), 21.14, 15.61, 17.84, 17.38, 19.42, 16.09, 17.96 = 17.51
16.67, 17.47, (13.73), 17.80, 13.90, 15.10, 15.44, 15.19, 17.48, 15.27, (22.36), 14.83 = 15.92 *new record*

17.30, 20.99, 20.76, 18.06, 16.41, 18.08, (16.23), 18.60, (26.50), 18.63, 17.38, 17.32 = 18.35
14.42, 14.80, 17.83, (20.49), 16.63, 18.71, 19.24, (14.29), 17.88, 18.18, 15.80, 19.47 = 17.30
16.32, 19.33, 17.87, 19.15, 17.94, (13.01), 14.92, 20.10, 15.37, 22.48, (22.83), 21.25 = 18.47
16.89, (13.46), 15.49, 17.12, 15.38, 17.00, (18.93), 17.90, 16.82, 18.24, 14.79, 16.01 = 16.56
15.96, 16.56, 17.28, (22.43), 19.69, 16.04, 15.79, 18.03, 17.43, 15.26, (14.95), 19.27 = 17.13
15.73, 17.47, 17.05, (14.36), 15.67, 19.61, 17.07, (31.90), 17.08, 21.12, 22.54, 15.20 = 17.85
17.07, 16.74, 18.70, 19.06, 19.96, 14.16, 19.98, 19.74, 18.70, (13.37), (19.99), 17.01 = 18.11
16.95, 16.41, 18.67, 18.33, 17.19, 16.76, 19.64, 17.61, 16.83, (13.74), (26.33), 23.85 = 18.22

I will contine to use ZB as my practice method for Fridrich for the WC. It's so cool to me that I can not practice Fridrich at all, and still get better at it!! ZB doesn't waste my practice for Fridrich at all, it actually lets me practice both at the same time! I love this method!

October 10, 2005: I took a pure Fridrich average today, I'm pretty sure this is the first one since Caltech Dallas, or since the middle of August. So about 2 months without doing a single Fridrich average, and my first one is sub-17 (which is a good average for me)!

17.45, 16.73, (12.61), 15.51, 16.37, 18.42, 17.32, 17.03, 15.34, 18.05, 17.04, (18.46) = 16.93

I really think doing ZB averages makes the smaller alg set required for Fridrich seem much simpler to me. I mean I only have to draw from 40 OLLs and 13 PLLs basically, rather than 158 zbf2l's and so far about 100 ZBLL algs when they come up. It really seems like ZB is streamlining my Fridrich solving without me even doing anything. Even if I finally decide that the decision time for ZBF2L and ZBLL does not overcome the speed of a super optimized Fridrich LL, maybe I could use ZB to train for Fridrich? Anyway I just think it's awesome that I can train both methods at the same time, just by doing ZB practicing. I'm going to go through my OLL page again soon and brush up on my cases to make sure I don't get any unwanted amnesia. Starting to think about the WC a bit more since it is so close. I will definitely use Fridrich and only Fridrich, unless I get a very super easy ZBLL case on the 1/7 chance I get all oriented edges.

My learning for ZBLL cases has definitely slowed, but I make up for it by practicing speedsolving ZBLL. I'm pretty good at all the T cases now, though of course case #6 (the one I just finished) has some rough spots. I'm also pretty comfortable with all the algs from my first U-orientation COLL case, but then again this COLL case is very easy. In some ways I can't wait till the WC is over and I can fully focus on learning ZBLL again. I hope my ZB practice will help for Fridrich solving in competition. I would love to retain, or better, my American 3x3x3 average record, but of course I know lots of other people who want it just as much as me, if not more. I guess we'll just see what happens. Can't wait for the WC, it's going to be a blast!

October 6, 2005: I am most definitely, without a doubt, faster with ZB now than I am with Fridrich. I took 11 averages tonight, and the overall average average was 17.68 seconds! I was very consistently at 17.8 seconds on my good days with Fridrich, and now I have averaged under 17.8 a few days in a row which I doubt I could have done 8 months ago when I was still practicing only Fridrich. So I am in new territory now, I'm now getting times I've never gotten before, which is only motivating me even more to learn this method!!

Today's stats:
Fastest average: 17.26, 14.85, 19.68, 19.44, 17.78, 17.45, (14.39), (21.51), 14.60, 16.42, 15.23, 15.38 = 16.81
Slowest average: 17.77, 17.55, 19.23, 17.76, 18.90, (28.62), (17.00), 17.53, 18.17, 21.14, 20.59, 18.42 = 18.71
Fastest solve: 12.67 Just a smooth COLL/PLL solve :-)
Slowest solve: 35.65 My 30+ solves now are no longer caused by ZBF2L amnesia, but ZBLL screwups. I'm glad that ZBF2L no longer causes me problems.
Average average (of the 11 done today): 17.68
# sub-15 solves: 12 12/132 = 9.09%

The two most interesting solves this batch were the 12.67 which was only COLL/PLL. I've been trying really hard lately to not only smooth out my ZBF2L but also to really crank up the speed. I've been getting a lot better at it, and like the 12 shows, even with COLL/PLL finish I can still get sub-13 sometimes. Also I had a 16.5x solve with my absolute worst ZBF2L case. I really, really hate this case, but of course I want the advantage of ZBLL so I always do ZBF2L on it anyway. The case is R2 B' R' U' B2 U' B2 U2 B R'.

Also, I've decided to learn Doug Li's algs for ZBF2L with inserting the last cross edge of an otherwise already solved F2L. I already have the first two memorized, and I really am taking my time with these. However, eventually I hope to know them all.

Anyway I think I'll try to balance practicing averages with learning as I realized lately that knowing ZBLL and speedsolving ZBLL are two completely different things, and lately I've only really been working on the former. Alright, well I'm off. Look for more posts in the next few days.

October 4, 2005: Did a 100 cube average today, and my fastest RA broke my average record again.

Also did two averages. The second was a rolling average out of maybe 16 cubes and the first was just a regular 12 cube average.

16.27, 21.87, 17.10, 19.84, 15.98, 16.30, (14.38), 19.83, 15.99, (26.29), 17.48, 18.70 = 17.94
(14.77), 15.13, 15.55, (23.80), 16.48, 17.90, 16.62, 15.40, 15.75, 18.55, 19.76, 16.65 = 16.78

1) 16.46 B' R D' B2 U D' F' U L' U2 D' R B' D F2 D' R' B U' L U2 D' F2 R F'
2) 16.85 D' R2 F2 U F2 D B2 D2 F' L2 U2 D L F U' R2 U2 R2 D' B2 D' F' L2 U B
3) 16.52 F' U R2 F' U2 D2 F2 D2 R2 L D B2 U' F2 U' L D B2 L' U2 R2 L F' B U2
4) 15.24 F' D' U F R2 D' U F2 L' R2 D' L' D2 U2 B U2 R B L F' L' U' D' L F'
5) 16.89 B2 L' R2 U2 R' D2 R D2 L' U D' F2 R F' B' D2 L B D2 L' U' R B' D U'
6) 20.18 U2 L' D' R' L' B F D2 L F2 R L D U' F2 L' F2 D R L' U' F' U2 R' B'
7) 22.17 F2 R' U L2 B' L' R D2 B' R' D F' U2 B2 U L U R' F' U R' L' F2 R2 F'
8) 14.52 L B' F' U' L' B' D2 L2 R' B2 R U R B' L2 U' B2 L D' B2 F' L U' R U
9) 17.66 R D R' F R' B L' B2 U2 R' B2 F' R L2 U2 L' B F' L D2 L B2 F' R2 B
10) 14.28 L F2 L' F2 R2 L2 U' F' U2 B2 L2 F U R' U F D U' B L2 R2 B' U2 D' L
11) 15.25 L2 U' F2 R' L2 D L2 F2 R' B' R2 F2 R2 B2 U R D' F D' B' U2 R F' B2 L'
12) 16.32 B F L' U D F2 R' B U' B' D2 L' B2 U2 L' B F' U R' U F L' R2 B2 L'
13) 17.34 F2 U' B D' R' D' R2 L' U B D' U2 F2 U R' B' L' B2 U D2 L' F' R' D2 L
14) 19.90 R' F2 L' D F' D' F U2 B' U' L' B R' U' L2 R' F U2 D' F' L U' D' L' B'
15) 17.29 B2 U F' R' B D' U2 L' F' B D2 U R D' U2 F' L' D' F' B D L2 B U' L2
16) 21.58 F2 L2 U' R2 F2 U R2 U R2 D' U2 F2 U2 R B' F R' B2 L' R2 F2 L2 F2 D' F'
17) 16.64 D' U B2 R2 F' D' F' R' L2 F2 B2 L R B2 F' U B' F' L B R2 F' D2 F' U
18) 18.59 F2 L F' U2 B' U F2 L B2 L' F2 L B' U' R' L' B' L' F' U2 F L D' U' L
19) 21.88 D2 L U D' L' D' R' B L' D' U2 B U2 D' R D' F2 L2 R F L2 F2 B2 R L'
20) 14.76 L' D B R2 B2 U D2 L' D' U' F' U F2 L' B' F' U2 L' U R2 B' L U' L' F2
21) 24.59 D F' R U2 R' F' L' R D2 L2 D R U' R' F2 B' R2 D' R2 D R' U' L D R
22) 19.64 B U2 L B' F2 D U2 B2 U2 R2 B F' L2 B D' L F2 B2 R2 B2 R2 U2 L' F D2
23) 20.08 D2 L' U2 B2 R U L2 R' D R' B2 D' L2 F B2 D2 U' B' L2 F D U2 F2 L U
24) 16.31 L' D R D' U2 R F2 U2 B L2 R2 F U' D B D2 F U D' B2 R U R U' R
25) 19.02 R2 B' R U2 B' R2 U2 D2 L' U R' D U B R2 B F U' R F2 L B2 F R' D'
26) 17.48 F R U' L' B F2 U2 B2 U2 B2 R' F' U' R' D B' U' B' U2 F2 D' B' F2 L R
27) 18.66 B R2 U D R U' D' B' D U' R U2 B F2 U' F' R2 B' U B2 D2 L B' U L2
28) 20.36 U2 L2 U2 L B2 U' B2 L B R B2 F2 U2 B' D' F2 R' U2 D' R2 B L U' D R
29) 20.69 L' U F' D' L' R' F' D2 F2 U' B F2 R2 D2 F U' L' U2 F' R2 F2 L B2 L2 D'
30) 19.88 B' L2 R' D' B2 D' R2 F' D' L' F2 L2 B R' F' L U R D' U' L' B' D' U L2
31) 17.36 F' D L B R2 F D' B' D' B2 R' D' L' R' D2 B' U' F L2 U F2 D2 B' D2 B2
32) 21.47 U2 R U' B' D F2 D2 B' D' B2 F' U' R L F2 B' D' F' U F L' B' U' F2 L'
33) 16.67 R U' R F2 R2 U' R' B U2 R2 D L' U' F' L2 U2 D R2 B2 D2 B2 U L2 U B2
34) 17.44 U' F D2 U F' U' B' L2 B F2 R F' D2 L R D' R2 D' L R2 D F R L2 U'
35) 15.80 R2 D' F2 D B F2 R' L B2 U2 B' R2 B L B' F' D2 L2 R2 F' B R2 F2 D' L2
36) 14.07 B2 U' R' F' U2 F2 L F R2 L2 B2 L F2 U' R2 D2 L' B F' L B2 U2 R2 F D
37) 20.84 L R2 F2 R L' B U2 B F2 D2 B' U2 F B2 U' D' L U2 R' B' F2 L F2 B2 U
38) 18.47 D2 L2 R2 D R D2 L' D R F' U2 B' U F R2 L2 B2 R F D' R' D L' B2 L2
39) 20.08 L' F' U' R F D' U L D B L' D B' D2 F' U' L' D U R2 B F' D F2 R2
40) 16.15 B' F' R' F2 B L' F B2 D' F' D L F' D' F' R2 L U2 D2 B' D' L' D2 U R
41) 15.98 B2 U D2 L2 R F2 U' F2 D' B2 L' R D2 L2 R2 D2 F R' D2 F' L' U2 D B2 U'
42) 20.68 B' R L F R' D F' R U' D R D2 R L U' D' L D2 F' B L' B F L B2
43) 22.84 U2 R F' L U B F' D R' L F' L F' U R D' U' F' B L2 D2 L2 B2 D2 B
44) 17.89 B' F U2 D R' D U' L2 U2 F2 L' F2 R' L F B' D' F' L' D' B' F' L U R2
45) 19.02 R2 L2 D2 U2 R2 F D' R' B U2 D L' D R' L2 U F2 R2 D' F' D' L2 R D R
46) 31.05 U2 F2 B' L' U B2 F2 D R U2 L U L F R L2 F2 D R F2 L' U2 D' R' U2
47) 15.30 U2 B U' R2 B2 F2 U2 R' B U B' U L2 F B2 R D L D2 U B' U2 F' D B
48) 19.11 D2 U B2 R U L2 B2 F' U R F' R' L' D2 R' F2 B' D2 U' B2 F2 U B' L2 B2
49) 15.85 U' D B' D2 U' B' D U' B' F' L R D2 L' R D2 B' R F B2 D U2 R2 L2 U2
50) 15.58 D2 B' F' L' U2 B D2 F2 L U' F U' B2 L B' U' L R F' L' D' L' D2 R2 L2
51) 14.67 R2 B2 F' R' F' D L D' B2 L2 D2 B' D2 L D' L2 R2 F L' R B U R2 U F'
52) 20.37 L B' R2 L' D2 B' D2 R F2 L2 D2 U R' B R' D2 U R L D2 R B L' U' B2
53) 16.49 D2 B2 D' U L2 U2 F2 B2 U' L' D U B2 D2 F' D' U' B' U R U2 L U F2 R'
54) 17.89 B' D' R' L2 D2 R L' D2 F L' B2 R D F2 B2 L B' R2 D U2 L U D R D
55) 16.54 L2 B D L' F' B' U2 R2 D2 B2 F U' L U2 F2 U2 R D2 U B' U' B2 R' B2 D
56) 14.87 B' R F' U2 R' L2 F R D2 U' R2 F' B2 R' U F R' U2 F R F D R' D' U
57) 18.06 R' U2 L D' F' B' L2 R2 B D U2 B' U' B2 U' B L2 D' L' D F2 B2 D2 F U2
58) 15.07 F' D2 L' R' F2 D' B D U2 L F2 R' U' D2 R U L R' B' R F2 U F2 U2 B'
59) 19.82 B2 R U D2 B2 F2 L U2 D' B D U2 F2 U' R2 L' D' R B' L F2 R2 B2 F R'
60) 14.83 F2 B2 R F' R2 L2 U R2 F B' R U' D' R B' F U D L B' F' L' R2 F2 D
61) 18.43 L2 D' L2 D2 L' B2 F D' F2 B D L' D L' R' F' U2 D2 R U2 D2 B2 U2 L2 D
62) 16.61 R' U2 F2 D2 B D R' F' D B U' F2 B L2 B D' B U' D' B D' B2 F U2 F
63) 18.54 U R2 L2 D L2 U B' F2 L D' B2 R' B U' B2 R D2 U' F2 B U L' D2 R L2
64) 20.03 D' L F B D2 B U2 L R2 B' L2 R' D' B D B R' U D' R2 B R' F2 B2 R'
65) 17.00 U' R U2 R2 D2 U B D2 B2 F' R2 L D F2 L D R F R' D' B' F2 U2 L U2
66) 15.25 L' B2 L B F' U B' D L' U' R' D B F L B2 L B2 L U2 L D2 U' F2 U
67) 19.01 B' F' L D2 F' B2 U' D' B L' F D F L U2 F' U2 B' F L' U2 F2 L F2 L
68) 20.76 U B' L' R' U' R2 B2 D2 U' F B' D2 R2 D' B L' U2 L2 F2 L' B' L F D' F
69) 18.84 U2 L R2 D' L' D2 B2 R2 D U' L2 F' D2 L' D U2 R' B2 L' U' B2 R' L' B U
70) 15.75 U2 L2 U D' B2 L2 B D' B' R D F2 U' L' R U D' B D R2 L' B U R' D2
71) 16.27 L D' F' R2 D U' B2 L2 B U2 F D2 U2 B2 U2 L2 F' R' U' F D2 F B' R F
72) 18.20 L F' B R L' F U' L2 F U B2 F D' R2 L' D R U' B2 U' R2 B2 U D' L2
73) 16.95 U2 D R2 D' L' R2 D L R' F D2 B' F2 R2 U' R F' B D2 F2 L' U L2 B2 R
74) 15.52 U' R' L B' F' D F2 R2 F' U' B U L D F D2 F2 D2 L2 B' F D2 B' R2 F'
75) 18.53 R' D2 F' R2 D L' R2 B2 R2 L F' U R L2 B2 D' B R' U2 B2 R' D' B F2 U'
76) 16.25 U2 L' D U B' L' F2 B D2 R B2 L' R D' B2 D2 L' D2 R2 D2 F' B' U B2 R'
77) 16.45 L' F' B2 D' F B' R U B2 R B U2 D2 L B2 U D2 L2 F2 L F2 U' D2 R F
78) 16.85 R' L D2 L2 R' U' L' F2 D' U2 R B' L U2 D F' R2 F2 D' L D' L2 D' B' L
79) 19.58 F2 D2 F' D' B' F2 D B' U2 R2 D2 B R2 F2 R2 L D' B D U2 R2 B2 U2 L2 B2
80) 16.90 U' L' D2 F2 L2 B' D' L' F B L D2 R L2 U2 R' F' U F2 L2 B2 D U2 B' F'
81) 19.58 L2 U' F B2 L2 D' F2 D R' F' D' L B U2 D R U' B D' U2 R2 F2 L D2 R2
82) 19.68 F B' R L' F L' U F' R' L U' L F D R L' F2 D B' R' B' R2 B D' L'
83) 16.35 D U' B' R L2 B2 L' R U2 B2 L2 D R' B2 U R2 U' D R2 B U D2 B2 R L
84) 19.62 R' B' D' R2 D2 B' D2 U' L' U R2 D' R2 F2 U L D2 L F R' D2 F2 L2 U' F
85) 26.62 B' L2 D2 L' F D' F R' D2 B2 F L' F2 L2 B' D' B2 L2 R B2 U2 L2 B2 D2 L'
86) 17.69 R' B2 F' D' U' B' F L2 B2 R' F L2 F2 B' U' B2 R2 D' R L2 U' L2 R B' R
87) 23.62 D' F2 L' F L D' R L' U' L F2 U B2 F2 D F2 U2 R' U' F U2 R' F2 D F2
88) 22.32 R2 B2 L2 F R D2 U F2 B2 U2 R2 F R F' L U2 D L' D' R L F2 L2 B U'
89) 20.13 U' F B2 R L B U2 F2 D2 F B' R U' L' D2 B2 L F2 D2 U R' L2 D' F' L2
90) 19.28 D R2 F R B R2 B' R L2 B L' D2 R' D' L R' B F D' U' F' U2 D' F2 B
91) 17.79 L2 R' B2 U' R' B D2 R2 F2 B U2 L2 R U' F2 D2 U B F L2 D2 L2 D2 R' L2
92) 26.07 U2 R2 F' D2 L B' F L R D B' D2 L2 R2 F D' B2 R U' F' L F' R' D F
93) 16.82 D2 F U F2 D' R U2 B' F' R' L B F2 R2 D2 F' L' R D' B' L R' F2 B L'
94) 27.39 B D R B2 D B D' L' B D' R U' D2 F' L R F2 L' D B D2 R' B2 R F2
95) 17.08 D U2 R' U L2 F2 B2 D2 R' D2 B' U2 L2 F U2 B F U D L2 U F B D R2
96) POP R' L' D' L2 F2 R' F2 B U' R2 L' U' D2 R L D' B' F U2 R' F2 B U' D' F'
97) 17.57 D2 L2 R2 D' R' U D B' L2 R2 F2 L R' U L' U D F U2 B F' R L' D2 F
98) 16.15 U' D L F B2 L' B' F2 R' B2 D F U2 B' R2 B2 F U2 D2 L U2 L F L F'
99) 20.42 R2 F2 R2 D R F2 B L' U' D' R' U B2 D2 R' B R F' L2 R F2 R2 F U' L'
100) 15.31 B' D' U' R2 U' B D U2 L' U B2 R' U2 R' D L2 B2 R2 B' U' B L' F' D2 R
101) 16.29 U' L' B' L' U' R' U L' B' U' R2 F2 B2 U' B2 L' F' L' U' R U D2 L R' U2

My fastest rolling average is my new record average at 16.48 seconds.
15.30, 19.11, 15.85, 15.58, (14.67), (20.37), 16.49, 17.89, 16.54, 14.87, 18.06, 15.07 = 16.48

I tried something new for my solving today. I tried doing ZBF2L just as fast as I do F2L. I'm starting to view the intuition of most of the ZBF2L algs, so I can just treat it as a regular F2L solve, with a more in depth intuitive decision to be made for the 4th c/e pair. On some solves it worked really well, and on others not so well. Anyway it's something I want to work on. I'm definitely glad to be getting 16 second averages more often (had a few rolling 16 second averages in this batch) even with ZBF2L and ZBLL.

Still working on the U orientation, I'm halfway done with my second COLL case, but unfortunately I've had a lot of work for school lately, so my learning has been slowed for this case. I already have some nice algs for this case though - so far I like it a lot. And what's best is that it is one of my slower COLL cases, so I get to replace a slow COLL case with fast ZBLL algs :-D

I'm out for today, gotta get to some homework.

October 1, 2005: Today I finally surpassed my fastest ever Fridrich average using ZB. Here was the average:

14.53, 17.76, 16.25, 15.56, (24.89), 15.17, 17.54, (13.77), 17.56, 19.15, 16.34, 15.40 = 16.53

Every solve was with ZBF2L and I'm using 28.40% ZBLL as of today. I think I had three ZBLL solves this average. I think I can safely conclude that I am now faster with ZB than with Fridrich. My average average with ZB seems to be right around 17.8, or even lately it seems to be slightly below. I also have averaged faster with ZB than I have with Fridrich. I doubt I'll use ZB at the world competition, but I can definitely see myself using it for a first round for another Caltech competition or Horace Mann tournament. I might even try a whole tournament with it and see where I get weeded out. That would be great motivation to work on it even harder. Anyway that is far down the road, right now I'm just happy to have improved beyond my skill with Fridrich!

I still don't know what the future of this method will be. All I know is that 8 months of working with ZB has gotten me faster than 7 years of working with Fridrich. Stuff like this keeps me motivated to keep learning.

September 30, 2005: Here are some more averages. Averaging sub-18 seems really easy to me now using ZB. Of course I can't do it every time obviously, but even when I mess up a few solves per average I get a ZBLL solve or two to balance that out. The chance for me to do twelve solves in a row and not get a single ZBLL solve is (0.716)^12 = 1.82%. So I am very likely to always get at least one ZBLL solve to help me balance out my solves when I screw up. With more practice speedsolving ZBF2L, I think it will take about 6 more months, then I feel that I won't make these sorts of F2L blunders and can hope for even better averages. I really feel like I could be averaging 16 seconds much more often if only I could avoid all the solves where I make a mistake. Oh well, that's the learning process I guess.

(14.70), 17.05, 17.49, 17.37, 14.97, 15.63, 17.95, 18.49, 20.02, 19.20, (20.43), 17.23 = 17.54
(12.41), 19.43, 18.53, 18.29, (21.94), 18.63, 20.64, 14.95, 17.16, 21.84, 15.40, 15.22 = 18.01
16.88, 17.17, 18.51, 18.43, 16.37, (20.23), (15.98), 17.59, 19.76, 17.51, 16.65, 17.03 = 17.59
15.80, (14.51), 15.37, 20.95, 20.87, 18.03, 15.19, 18.45, 17.54, 18.56, (21.74), 17.56 = 17.83
17.44, 17.07, 16.40, 17.17, 17.35, 18.21, 20.31, 20.07, 16.90, 18.72, (23.48), (11.95) = 17.96

I got two sub-13 solves too! The 12.41 was ZBF2L/COLL/PLL and the 11.95 was ZBF2L/ZBLL. Overal average average for these 5 is 17.79 seconds. Still under my Fridrich 17.8 seconds! I want to make sure I can consistently keep up an average average under 17.8 seconds, and if I can then I am better with ZB than with Fridrich! I can't wait!

September 29, 2005: Going to post some averages again, maybe for a while. I find that my averages are different now that I know a good bit more ZBLL. I had some solves with algs from my first COLL case for the U-orientation come up too, and was able to get some very fast solves on those cases. I already feel comfortable with some of the cases, so I really think that this COLL is just an easy case, particularly since I learned it so quickly.

Anyway some observations before the averages. I really do think now that ZBF2L / COLL / PLL is a bad method. It can be very fast, especially with the 1/12 skips, but sometimes the COLL is very long, with a long PLL too, and the LL is just terribly slow. I will continue to solve this way though since I want to make my COLL recognition feel like second nature as I am learning ZBLL. I think ZBF2L / OLL / PLL would be a much better method, and perhaps a good sub-method for those not interested in ZBLL. I think ZBF2L + OLL + PLL could end up being a fast method, but of course this is only speculation. I also am now of the persuasion that COLL / PLL is not a good LL approach 100% of the time.

Notice that I still get lots of times over 20 when I mess up ZBF2L or choose the wrong ZBLL alg, but my good ZBLL solves still bring the averages down. I dropped about a second off my average average by finishing the T orientation, so I wonder if I'll have an average average of 16 seconds after I learn the U. If that is the case then after I know 13/27 of ZBLL (3 orientaiton cases and the PLL algs) then I think I can have an average average of 15 seconds roughly. Or at least I hope so, I still have never averaged sub-16. I don't think I'll ever understand how people get there in 2-3 years. My explanation to myself is that they are robots in human disguise, but hey that's just my opinion of course :-D

19.89, 18.45, 15.75, 15.80, (13.06), 16.98, (21.68), 16.20, 18.27, 15.54, 15.51, 18.25 = 17.06
16.16, (13.90), 18.84, 17.43, (36.28), 21.61, 16.75, 17.57, 15.97, 16.46, 18.92, 15.86 = 17.56
(13.65), 14.27, 17.83, 20.94, 16.31, 17.10, 16.74, 20.75, 15.38, 19.11, 19.41, (45.70) = 17.78
(15.59), 15.79, 18.46, 21.07, 22.01, 18.27, 22.96, 16.37, 16.48, 17.66, 17.80, (25.53) = 18.69
16.89, 17.78, 16.75, 17.04, 16.66, 16.81, 18.19, 20.62, 16.68+, 20.88, (23.05), (13.28) = 17.83
(15.57), 19.36, 16.39, 15.65, 16.28, 17.28, 16.96, 19.02, 19.81, (20.50), 19.42, 16.66 = 17.68

Overall average average is 17.77 seconds. I feel that this can only get better as I solidy my last COLL case for the T and also my first for the U. This is already better than my Fridrich 17.8 average average, so I think I might very soon be better with ZB than I am with Fridrich.

September 28, 2005: Wow!! Today was a very productive day! I learned 6 ZBLL cases today, finishing up my first COLL case for the U-orientation. Each case has a reflection, so it was really only three algs, but still I just felt like I hadn't absorbed up to my max until after the third alg (including reflections of all 3)! That means it only took me 5 days to learn this COLL case! That's 2 algs per day! Not days per alg, algs per day! Granted this is a very easy COLL case, and I for the most part used inverses of my cooresponding T algs. Still this has me excited that the U orientation will not take long to learn at all!

I now know (5/27) + (4/27)*(20/72) + (18/27)*(1/12) + (16/7776) = 28.40% ZBLL! Almost 30%!!

September 26, 2005: Well I haven't written in a long time, though I still am working daily on ZB. Really nothing much is different from day to day, other than that I knock off a ZBLL alg every two days on average. As of right now I am fully comfortable with speed solving all of ZBF2L, though I do still get the rare case of amnesia on a solve which causes me to delay for a few seconds before remembering. My decision time for ZBF2L is only slightly slower than F2L. I can often identify the F2L case before finishing the third pair and recognizing the edges case comes easy to me now.

Also, I finally finished learning the ZBLL algs for the T-orientation! I am very excited now to be able to solve the orientation 100% of the time with a 1 look LL. I've already started on the U-orientation next, and I'm halfway through with my first COLL case. Bernard Helmstetter only generated one COLL case for this orientation, since 5 of the COLL cases you can just use the inverse alg of the cooresponding T-orientation. I use ACube almost solely to find my algs for the U-orienation, so many thanks to Josef Jelinek!

Also, I didn't mention it here yet, but I did use ZB methods during the Caltech Dallas summer tournament. I used it for 4 of the 5 solves in the first round, the 1 solve I didn't was because I amnesied the ZBF2L (I never forget that case now though ;-). I also really screwed up using Fridrich for the first three solves of the final, and since my average was already so bad I stopped caring about my place in the final and used the last two solves as two more chances to use ZB.

Of the 6 total ZB solves I did, 2 of them had a ZBLL finish. So I now have some competition experience with ZB and I think for competition that this method will do fine. I'm glad I used ZB some in competition, since now I can consider using easy ZBF2L and ZBLL algs for the world competition in Orlando without fear of messing up.

I'm going to try to keep up in this journal, but I've come to realize that my day to day routine for learning ZB is pretty unchanging. I'll try to come up with something to say I guess, but I might not post as frequently for a while.

August 3, 2005: Today wasn't spectular, but it wasn't bad either. I guess I'm just posting as I'd like to show my improvement so when I look back on this journal in a few months I can see my progress.

All solves were with ZB
Fastest average: 16.40, 19.35, 16.75, 16.21, 17.55, 17.95, 18.28, (15.07), 16.76, 18.30, (19.55), 16.46 = 17.40 All times sub-20!!!!
Slowest average: 18.39, 18.81, 24.97, (13.92), 22.21, 18.17, 17.01, 14.70, 22.47, (26.57), 19.39, 15.12 = 19.12 not happy that it's over 18.99, but at least it was close.
Fastest solve: 13.58 Just a smooth solve :-)
Slowest solve: 39.48 This was a ZBLL alg that I literally had just learned about 8 hours before.
Average average (of the 6 done today): 18.16
# sub-15 solves: 6 6/92 = 6.5%

August 2, 2005: Started practicing Fridrich again, and I actually broke my fastest official rules Fridrich average! I think ZB and Fridrich compliment each other very well.

From 7-31-05:
ZB average
16.63 17.73 17.93 16.00 17.58 (15.54) 19.52 18.90 18.02 16.97 21.40 19.52 = 17.88

followed immediately by a Fridrich average (however I did do partial edge control, making sure never to get the all edges flipped case, and I also did COLL the 1/7 chance it came up)
18.23 17.86 17.32 15.56 17.98 14.55 (14.08) 15.49 15.67 (20.02) 17.34 17.26 = 16.73

I won't send that in to though since my goal is to be the fastest I can be with ZB rather than Fridrich. However now my ZB goal to beat is 16.73 and not 16.75.

Here are today's stats (all solves done with ZB):
Fastest average: 15.72 (14.24) 20.66 17.80 18.64 14.65 (37.62) 18.32 18.40 19.67 16.77 16.18 = 17.68
16.96 17.22 16.29 15.57 15.13 22.89 14.62 (23.73) 22.37 17.94 17.78 (13.38) = 17.68

Slowest average: (13.62) 18.58 16.05 21.17 16.73 17.91 17.14 21.35 17.12 (23.27) 18.25 22.69 = 18.70 Slowest today is still sub-19!!!!!!!!!
Fastest solve: 12.03 New record! It was a PLL skip after COLL, but that is no longer lucky for me based on the rules! (I know and use 22% ZBLL, so my chance for a 1 look LL is greater than the required minimum for a non-lucky step skip of 20%)
Slowest solve: 37.62 ZBF2L pause, only one in a few days though!
Average average (of the 6 done today): 18.17
# sub-15 solves: 8 8/72 is 11% !!!

July 31, 2005: Today I just came to a huge epiphany about the future of ZB! All this time I've been practicing ZB with the intention of replacing the Fridrich method completely, but now I think that is definitely not a good idea. Follow my line of thinking here:

In a competition, assuming you can make it to the final round, the standings in the first two rounds don't matter at all, except for to get you into the next round. So 1) The purpose of the first and second rounds is to get to the next round, period.

In the final round, your average is all that matters. If you get a fast solve, but a few other mediocre solves you will not win. So 2) In the final ALL that matters is your average time.

Now ZB is amazing at getting spike good times, and the method is fast, but not quite as fast as Fridrich. Fridrich is not as good at getting the spike times as ZB, but it is AMAZING at getting consisntently fast averages.

So here is my new view on ZB. I want to get to the point where, for a smaller competition (not a WC), where I know I can get to the final round with ZB (I hope to average sub-16 with ZB keep in mind), then I will use ZB for the first two rounds. My standing in this round doesn't matter at all, just that I get to the next round. So if I can make sure I get to the next round AND go for one of those spike fast times when I get a fast ZBLL case, then why not? So ZB becomes my "first two rounds" method!

In the final, nerves are intense and ZB is a BAD idea. This is because the method is so incredibly complex and to try to think that hard while being scared will not work. So for the final I will use Fridrich only.

This also has one more positive aspect. Think of the "swinging a weighted bat" technique used in baseball. Before you are up to bat you swing a weighted bat to make the real bat feel lighter and easier to handle. ZB is MUCH more complex then Fridrich, so using it for first two rounds will be quite a mental challenge. That means that when I do switch down to Fridrich for the final, I will be using a much easier method. This is good 1) Because I will be nervous and need to make easier decisions and 2) all the Fridrich steps are just really easy versions of all the ZB steps, so the method will seem quite easy to me and I can potentially look ahead really well. Plus since the method will feel easier to me, I will feel more confident during the final round.

So this has become my view of ZB now. It is not a replacement of Fridrich, but rather a compliment to Fridrich. So I am now still going to learn all of ZB, and use it as my "first two rounds method" and Fridrich will become my "final round" method.

This allows me to go for really fast spike solves in the first two rounds, yet still have a chance to make it into the final (ZB can get sub-16, I am convinced of that), and then use a simpler, and for averages MUCH better, method for the final.

Why use one method to fill two different purposes when I can use two different methods that each individually specialize in the purpose I need it to fulfill?

So now I will practice Fridrich just as much as ZB, which will mean it might take longer for me to learn ZB, but I need to be fresh for both methods. I am going to use this technique in the Dallas tournament, so look for my results to see if this strategy works! Even if I screw up really badly in Dallas though, I will still practice this technique for the WC and future competitions. I don't think I have a chance for the final round at the WC, but if I can walk away with a 10 second solve I would be incredibly happy! I will know about 30-40% ZBLL by then I think, and in 10 solves for the first two rounds I am likely then to get 4 ZBLL solves, which might make that possible. Even another 13 or a 12 would make me incredibly happy.

In short, ZB is NOT a replacement to Fridrich, it is simply my method for the first two rounds of a competition. Fridrich will be faster on average than ZB, I am convinvinced of that, so I will still use it for the final round when only the average counts. I now have two methods to use for competitions that are each tailored to what I need them to do for that round!

July 25, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 18.33, 18.95, 18.19, 16.71, 16.10, 18.40, (21.01), (14.71), 20.31, 15.21, 19.48, 19.49 = 18.12
Slowest average: 17.39, 18.12, 19.91, 21.16, 20.78, 22.04, (28.91), 17.31, 22.15, (15.18), 22.78, 17.63 = 19.93
Fastest solve: 13.56
Slowest solve: 29.97
Average average (of the 14 done today): 18.78
# sub-15 solves: 11

Did some real serious thinking about ZB as a method today. I took some ZBF2L and LL (COLL/PLL or ZBLL when it came up) averages today and I was disturbed that often my ZBLL solves were 6 second LL times :-( :-( :-( Mostly the cases I just recently learned were that slow. So it seems that even though I can perform all my algs sub-4 on netcube, sometimes recognition just takes a while.

My current opinion on ZB is now this, it is not a "super" method. It probably won't be faster than Fridrich to be honest. In fact, because Fridrich uses fewer algs I think it will be consistently faster than ZB. However, I think a run of really easy ZBLL cases with ZB will yield a faster average record than Fridrich could. So I guess both methods are better than the other in one respect.

I miss being able to be fast with Fridrich, however I like the fact that even when I screw up my average really bad with ZB, my ZBLL solves always bring it down to sub-20. Getting sub-20 with ZB is cake, since I just wait till I get one of my 1/5 one look LL solves and the time helps me bring my average back down. To back this up with proof scroll down through the days of this journal, I have gotten 50 consecutive sub-20 averages. My last non-sub20 average was on July 18 and was a 20.42.

So in short, ZB is not a super method. It will probably be faster than Fridrich for a *single* average record, but Fridrich will be more consistently fast (less memory work). I'm still 100% set on learning full ZB. I feel 100% confident that I (again I don't speak for the method itself here, just myself) can average sub-16 with ZB once I've learned enough ZBLL. I think it might not even be that much of a stretch to average sub-15 once or twice once I know all of ZBLL. So my personal choice is for ZB, since I know it will help me meet my own personal goals. I retract all my statements about ZB being this super speedcubing method, I think Fridrich is a much more stable method than ZB over lots of solves. If a theoretical person does master ZB they would probably be in the speedcubing top-ten, maybe even hold the record average, but not be the fastest cuber around (in my opinion of course, just my own speculation).

So in short, I consider the ZB method the easy way out. I could work on my reflexes and try to train my brain to think quicker during F2L, or just learn 300 more algs and get the same times that the current fast guys do. ZB is the lazy way out, it doesn't require the immense skill that one of the top Fridrich solvers has to have, just patience in learning a LOT of algs. The Fridrich method is a beautiful method in terms of its efficiency, ZB is just crazy brute force solving and nothing more.

I still think it would be fun to solve with ZB though, so I still want to learn the whole thing :-D I imagine knowing 25-30% ZBLL will be necessary for getting sub-17, 40-50% ZBLL required for getting near the 15.99-16.00 border. Then over 50% for sub-16 and probably 100% for sub-15 (if it can even get sub-15).

July 23, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 15.88, 16.90, (13.60), 16.61, 13.79, (27.47), 19.25, 18.59, 15.85, 20.96, 18.44, 13.91 = 17.02 new record!
Slowest average: 16.52, (29.58), (14.22), 18.78, 27.11, 18.00, 18.87, 24.18, 18.46, 17.22, 16.77, 19.41 = 19.53
Fastest solve: 12.98 Just a smooth ZBLL solve
Slowest solve: 29.58
Average average (of the 10 done today): 17.99 Only .19 seconds away from my old average average!!!

I ran into "the case that I always forget" three or four times today, and because of my new name for it I remembered it every time! It was funny though, when I ran into it I was like "oh yeah I always forget that one" and then I immediately recalled how to do it :-) If I ever come up with a naming scheme for ZBF2L, that one will be immortalized as "the one I always forget" :-D

Got 11 sub-15 solves today, and another sub-13!!!! :-D

July 21, 2005: Today's stats:
Only took two averages today, so here they are:
22.36, 19.86, 21.83, 18.41, 20.25, 20.11, 16.61, 19.55, (23.97), (10.44), 18.33, 22.53 = 19.98
19.90, 18.60, 17.54, 19.45, 18.94, (15.80), 19.31, 20.27, 16.86, 21.31, 18.94, (22.06) = 19.11

Fastest solve: 10.44 LL skip. Because I always end with oriented edges after F2L the chance of this is 1/1944. This is my second LL skip with ZB so far, both times have been sub-11. This is my third sub-11 solve ever.
Slowest solve: 23.97
Average average (of the 2 done today): 19.55

I was pretty happy about the 10.xx solve today. I mean I know it's lucky, but hey at least I *can* solve the cube in 10 seconds, albeit very infrequently. Plus that means I had to have gotten a 9-10 second ZBF2L, which I think I can be somewhat satisfied with ;-)

July 20, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 15.50, (13.12), 16.90, 18.02, 16.79, (23.18), 18.02, 18.26, 17.14, 19.68, 17.35, 16.87 = 17.45
Slowest average: 17.54, 16.96, 23.56, 21.14, 17.61, (28.85), 25.02, 21.94, 18.45, 17.99, (16.29), 18.25 = 19.85
Fastest solve: 12.91 Just a smooth COLL/PLL solve. No step skips or ZBLL. The ZBF2L was my 2nd favorite one (next to RUR'), R U' R2 F R F'
Slowest solve: 52.20 This seriously has to be the 15th time I've forgotten this exact same ZBF2L case. I think I will start to remember it as the "case I always forget" in order to try to remember it.
Average average (of the 9 done today): 18.43 Only 0.63 away from my consistent 17.80 average average before I stopped doing Fridrich. Can't wait to get sub-me!!!

Oh my god 1 look last layer 1/5 is AWESOME!!! It helps having just finished my incomplete COLL case. It's nice to know that for any COLL case I run into I either know none of the ZBLL algs (well 1/12 since I know *A* COLL alg for that case) or all of them. That will be my new routine now. I will learn all 12 algs for a COLL case, then take averages to get used to recognizing those cases while speedsolving. Then once I'm comfortable with all 12 I'll stop taking averages until I learn the next COLL case. It's nice to not have that hesitant "Oh crap I only know 2/3 of these cases, do I know this one?!?!" feeling when I get an incomplete COLL case.

Man if a 1 look LL 1/5 is this cool, and I mean it is VERY noticeable, I can't WAIT to learn more!!!!

16.66, 15.31, 19.66, 18.61, 17.16, 15.93, 18.28, (15.30), (19.97), 19.74, 18.95, 19.55 = 17.98
Another all sub-20 average using partial ZB :-D

July 19, 2005: I know 20.37% ZBLL!!!!!!! By the rules (rule #3 sub-rule #2) that means that a 1 look last layer is NOT A LUCKY SOLVE FOR ME!!!!! MUahahaha!!!!!!! So that means I could get an edge three cycle after a RUR' 4th F2L pair and IT WON'T BE A LUCKY SOLVE!!! Oh my god!!!!! I'm so happy to finally meet a goal for ZBLL. It seems I've been learning algs forever with nothing to show for it. Now I just need to learn 24 more algs to finish the T orientation. I'm so happy!! I won't count my fastest PLL skip as my record now, since I didn't know enough ZBLL then. But I'm sending in my next PLL skip after COLL as my pb solve (or one of my fastest ZBLL algs of course). I'm so happy!!!!!!! Finally something to show for learning so many damn algs!!

My fastest end to a Fridrich solve would be the T orientation (F R U R' U' F') followed by this particular edge three cycle (R2 U' R' U' R U R U R U' R) which I can do sub-3 with no errors. So my BEST Fridrich LL is probably about 2.95 seconds on average. My best ZBLL case is (R2 U' R' U' R U R U R U' R) which counts as my full LL now. So my best LL solve will be about 1.50 seconds on average (including recognition). So if I got the RUR' last F2L pair I could probably have done F2L in about 9 seconds (8 if I was on fire) so I can forsee a sub-10 solve for me in the future even without multislotting or other tricks. With just a nice F2L and my favorite edge cycle I can break 10. Man this is cool! This is why I like ZB, I don't have to be a cube super-mega-prodigy to break 10 seconds. I just need to solve enough cubes to get one of the better cases for this method! ZB is awesome, even someone like me can get sub-15 with it I'm hoping :-D

Today's stats:
Fastest average: 14.05 16.86 19.82 20.18 (13.90) 17.47 14.56 18.22 15.76 (24.28) 15.20 19.24 = 17.14 new record
Slowest average: (17.43) (24.96) 18.80 20.44 20.64 19.30 20.55 18.37 21.55 22.83 19.14 18.06 = 19.97
Fastest solve: 13.90
Slowest solve: 30.50 Weirdly enough ZBF2L was fine, but the ZBLL case threw me off for several seconds.
Average average (of the 11 done today): 18.72 Definitely happy with this, though I hope to improve soon.

July 13, 2005: Today was definitely a bad day for cubing, I messed up algs like crazy, could never seem to fully concentrate, etc.. :-( At least my bad days are getting faster though, and I'm also happy that I'm no longer satisfied with 19.xx averages again. I know they say good things come to those who wait, but man I wonder if I would have gotten sub-16 by now with Fridrich. I guess this is for the best still, since I was bound to dead end soon after that even if I did make it that far. *sigh* I wish I could fast forward myself to 3 years from now...

Also my cube is starting to hurt my wrist, which means it's getting too loose and its time to retire it. It feels like a pretty good one-handed cube though, so I think I'll keep it for that. I still don't know what's up with me and one-handed. I haven't practiced in forever, and seeing Macky and Ryan's times I don't think I'll ever be able to be competitive with it again. Oh well, guess I'll just do it for fun. It's nice to do at least sorta well in a few different events. Aaaaaaaaah, I'm in such a weird mood right now. So much to do in cube land, and only one lifetime to do it in. I haven't practiced any side events for months, I've literally been doing ZB and nothing else. It's starting to show too, which sucks since the WC is coming up. I think I'll just go this WC to have fun, and set no standards for myself whatsoever. By WC2007 I'll most likely be done learning ZB and will have had 6 months to get used to it. So hopefully I'll be able to be competitive then. Man I will feel like such a gigantic moron if ZB turns out to be slower than Fridrich. I mean I guess I'll be happy that I could tell people not to learn it, but still there goes 4 years of my cubing career out the window. Aaaaah I wish I knew if this method will be fast or not, that's the most frustrating part. Well off to write my paper which is due tomorrow and I've barely started.

Today's stats:
Fastest average: 17.87 16.79 17.91 17.34 21.73 16.24 18.13 23.62 (14.46) 18.87 19.85 (45.62) = 18.84
Slowest average: 15.91 21.44 21.53 27.27 20.15 17.52 17.54 (13.63) (29.54) 25.13 24.12 16.26 = 20.69
Fastest solve: 13.29 just a smooth COLL/PLL finish. I wish it would have been ZBLL, could have dropped maybe 1-2 seconds :-D
Slowest solve: 56.50 forgot ZBF2L for about 30 seconds. This still happens, though not often.
Average average (of the 8 done today): 19.76 Definitely not happy with this time, but then again I guess I'm happy that I'm not happy with a still sub-20 average average. At least I'm improving.

July 11, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 17.87 18.24 18.54 16.98 21.33 20.72 16.70 (22.49) 19.02 (16.44) 18.59 18.22 = 18.62
Slowest average: 19.69 24.56 19.25 21.85 21.18 17.77 24.22 17.32 (15.26) 17.76 (27.60) 17.80 = 20.14
Fastest solve: 13.33 ZBLL
Slowest solve: 28.07 not sure what happened
Average average (of the 7 done today): 19.35 *sigh* I've done better...

July 10, 2005: Had a pretty good day today, though my sunday contest average was my second slowest average today :-( Nothing exciting really, other than I only need to learn 7 more algs before my PLL skips after COLL are no longer considered lucky solves by rules (chances to skip the step must be 20% or greater). I recently did an exact count of my chances of skipping PLL,

So I have a (1/27) + (4/27)*(640/1152) + (22/27)*(1/12) = 18.72% chance of getting a ZBLL case I know, or of skipping the PLL step. To get over 20% I only have to learn 7 more algs, or in my terms I only have to finish my current COLL case!

I also like Dan Harris' idea of using transormation OLL algs to transform whatever OLL case I get into the one I know the ZBLL algs for. I'll look into that once I know this whole orientation completely. Here are my stats for today:

Fastest average: 17.06 16.25 17.32 (15.34) 17.58 18.13 18.93 15.38 (20.92) 15.52 18.76 17.06 = 17.20 New record!!!!
Slowest average: 19.26 20.01 25.71 20.56 18.06 19.16 18.67 20.66 16.04 (32.79) (14.13) 17.73 = 19.59
Fastest solve: 14.13 ZBLL
Slowest solve: 34.65 ZBF2L delay *involuntary eye twitch*
Average average (of the 6 done today): 18.66

Took a Fridrich average today and I am disgustingly rusty. I think there is almost no doubt that I will use ZB at Dallas. It would take a lot of work to get my Fridrich times back up to speed in a month (in 5 months I've practiced Fridrich for maybe a comined time of 2 weeks). I think I'd rather put all that work into finishing those last 18 algs for this orientation before Dallas. I guess I have officially switched to ZB as of now, even for competitions. I sure as hell hope it turns out to be worth it.

July 5, 2005: Haven't posted in a while, just been practicing. I really think I'm going to use ZB stuff at Dallas next month and just see what happens. I haven't practiced with Fridrich at all since May 28, and I did some trial solves yesterday and am very rusty. Plus I'm kinda curious what will happen. By then I will probably know about 18%-19% ZBLL based on my progress so far, which means nearly 66% chance of getting a ZBLL solve in my average of 3! Nothing too terribly exciting since last time. Found a cool 17 move ZBLL alg that I can almost average sub-3 with :-) (R U) y' x' (L' U L U')x2 L' x y U' (R' U l U l') Try it, it's very fast despite it's length! Also I got a 12.87 ZBLL solve yesterday! I like sub-13 solves :-D

Stats for today:
Fastest average: 17.08 17.24 16.90 (15.77) 16.50 16.95 16.45 18.34 (20.48) 17.82 19.64 18.15 = 17.51
Slowest average: (16.86) (26.24) 18.97 21.73 19.29 18.29 19.93 20.56 18.22 19.84 20.92 20.63 = 19.84
Fastest solve: 13.74 ZBLL
Slowest solve: 28.40 Long ZBF2L delay :-(
Average average (of the 10 done today): 18.96

June 28, 2005: Today I started messing around with recognizing and executing ZBF2L in the back two F2L pairs, rather than just in the front. I've had a few solves go this way while speedsolving, and I think with some work that I could start to save ZBF2L for ending with either of the back pairs too. Still working with these two ZBLL cases, one of which I posted on the group. They are all so long and not very nice to execute. Can't wait to get these last 6 cases over with, I'm getting sick of seeing this same COLL case.

Today was an amazing day in terms of practicing. Days like today are the ones that keep me motivated to keep learning all these algs. In fact, I'm going to post all my averages for today instead of just the fastest and slowest. Notice in the third average, the 19.36, that I had a 25, 24 and 21 count for the average, and still got sub-20 :-D Also the 17.48 average had all times sub-20!!!

Stats for today:
21.54, 20.39, 21.29, 18.04, 24.19, 17.49, (17.00), 20.10, 18.25, 20.64, 17.72, (36.61) = 19.96
(14.20), 19.40, 19.73, 16.50, 19.58, 18.57, 20.34, 15.73, (38.86), 18.43, 18.17, 22.08 = 18.85
21.27, 17.82, 25.04, 16.54, 24.20, 19.52, (32.68), (15.76), 15.85, 19.14, 16.17, 18.05 = 19.36
17.34, 17.68, 18.68, 17.00, 18.29, 16.84, (19.77), 16.63, 16.55, 16.94, 18.85, (16.19) = 17.48
20.29, 21.90, 18.20, (15.62), 19.96, 16.37, 20.06, 16.77, 20.03, (23.20), 22.26, 17.44 = 19.33

Fastest solve: 14.20 Modestly fast, but I'm still happy with it :-D
Slowest solve: 36.61 Ironically the ZBF2L was a non-obvious case that I did incredibly smooth with no delay, but I totally blanked on the COLL for some reason. Weird.
Average average (of the 5 done today): 19.00

June 27, 2005: I get the feeling that some people are poking fun at me on the yahoo group :-D Today I pretty much only practiced ZBLL, but I did manage to get 3 averages in. I also got another 12.xx solve for ZBF2L! So that's about 13 sub-13 solves for ZBF2L and 5 for Fridrich for me :-D Starting to get sub-18 more often again, which feels nice. I need to get rid of the slow times in my averages though. Do this on your cube: R' F R B' R' F' R B That COLL case really sucks for ZBLL algs. I guess those will be the cases where generally I will be like "crap, I hate that case". Some of them are very fast though, which is nice. Oh well, 6 more to go and I'll be done with all the ZBLL algs for that case and I can move on. I *can't wait* to finish this orientation case. Only 30 more algs and I will be able to solve this OLL case in 1 look! I still can't get over how cool that sounds, I will be able to solve an OLL case in 1 look 100% of the time! Man I love this method :-D

Stats for today:
Fastest average: 17.40 16.81 17.75 (25.28) 16.83 16.94 22.01 16.23 19.52 18.80 16.58 (15.16) = 17.89
Slowest average: 15.96 (27.02) 17.90 24.70 (14.83) 23.02 18.07 16.80 23.55 16.04 17.02 22.46 = 19.55 After all those bad times I was glad I could still keep this one sub-20. Slowly but surely I am able to still keep my bad averages sub-20.
Fastest solve: 12.67 ZBLL solve. Add one more to my sub-13 tally :-D
Slowest solve: 27.02 Not a single ZBF2L hiccup today! On this case I had a little amnesia, but the alg came back to me fairly quickly and I later messed up the LL some. It's nice to have a day where ZBF2L was smooth for every solve!
Average average (of the 3 done today): 18.82

June 25, 2005: Did a lot of averages today. Did 3 averages while racing some people in Dan Harris' chat thing, which was fun. Jon was getting some crazy fast times, which helps to focus for me. I set a new record average today!! Hooray!! I also raced Richard Patterson and Doug Li for a while online, which was fun. We did a few averages. I think tomorrow I'll either take a day off, or just practice ZBLL. I did too many averages today, my brain is tired. Here are the stats for today:

Fastest average: 14.41 17.54 19.44 16.23 17.90 15.04 (24.32) 19.29 (13.15) 16.71 18.23 19.04 = 17.38 New record!!!!
Slowest average: 18.57 18.51 20.30 24.12 18.49 19.56 20.56 18.99 (DNF) 36.55 (14.63) 18.75 = 21.44 One of only two non-sub-20 averages today :-D
Fastest solve: 13.15 ZBLL solve.
Slowest solve: 36.55 I had a DNF also, but I stopped the timer since I knew I wasn't going to recall the case. Only had 1 huge "oh man I don't know that case" which was the DNF. I have a hard time with that case still, but I hopefully have relearned it for the last time :-D
Average average (of the 13 done today): 19.27

June 24, 2005: Had a busy day today, so I only did two averages. I'm starting to get a lot faster at ZBF2L as a whole, and when I do recognize the case quickly the rest of the solve tends to go very quickly. I was very happy with my performance today.

16.71 (13.78) 26.19 17.52 23.68 14.47 22.95 17.60 (26.29) 19.78 17.26 17.40 = 19.36
16.07 17.73 16.61 19.02 (20.75) 20.47 19.08 (15.44) 19.11 15.48 18.40 17.50 = 17.95
Fastest solve: 13.78 I don't even think this was a ZBLL solve, I think it was just COLL/PLL
Slowest solve: 49.88 I of course still have hiccups for ZBF2L, but they are few and far between. I can't wait until they gone :-D

I also took an average racing Richard Patterson over yahoo messenger. We both solved each cube with our opposite color (the color opposite our usual cross color). I got this idea from Richard, and I think it is a nice step towards color neutrality, without the pain of not knowing the colors very well.
22.92 17.40 21.35 16.99 (16.22) (27.84) 18.77 20.20 20.98 20.54 25.78 18.31 = 20.32

Tomorrow being the first day of the weekend I plan on practicing/learning ZBLL algs until smoke comes out of my ears :-D

June 23, 2005: After a very long lull with lots of bad times, I'm finally starting to get the hang of this again.

Fastest average: 19.46 19.26 18.83 15.97 (15.72) 16.82 15.76 17.38 17.01 17.52 (25.29) 21.33 = 17.93
Slowest average: 14.87 17.50 22.83 (30.10) 20.14 18.55 26.37 17.48 29.50 (14.10) 18.65 17.44 = 20.33 Notice the 26.xx and 29.xx that both count for the average.
Fastest solve: 14.10 Got five ZBF2L 14's today!!
Slowest solve: 31.56 My slowest solves are getting faster, that's a good sign.
Average average (of the 4 done today): 19.03

June 19, 2005: Overall today felt like a fairly bad day, lots of ZBF2L delaying. Still need more practice.

Stats for today:
Fastest average: 15.47 19.70 17.50 (14.91) 21.51 18.33 19.23 (21.75) 20.01 18.30 15.52 19.07 = 18.46
Slowest average: 23.28 19.45 (26.95) 24.06 22.10 18.43 21.42 22.65 18.94 18.75 20.62 (16.90) = 20.97
Fastest solve: 14.91 I messed up ZBF2L somehow on almost every single ZBLL solve I had today :-(
Slowest solve: 27.77
Average average (of the 5 done today): 19.75

June 18, 2005: Haven't written recently, but that is mostly because my daily practice routine is pretty much the same thing, so it wouldn't be too terribly exciting. I'm slowly learning new ZBLL algs. The COLL case I am working on makes it harder to notice where the edges are, but I've come up with a good system for categorizing them and the rest shouldn't take long to learn.

I've done a lot of thinking about the ZB method lately, especially on what the role of ZBF2L will be during the solve. I've decided now that ZBF2L will not be the first look in this method. It will be combined with other intuitive stuff and still count as part of the F2L. So basically ZBF2L is really just a more advanced version of F2L - the only difference being that the last pair is harder than the first 3. So this method really will be a 1 look method, with a hard F2L as its start. I'm getting much better at recognizing ZBF2L cases, and have gotten some non-trivial sub-15 times with ZBF2L cases that have no regular F2L counterpart.

I'm also starting to think that 2 years will be unrealistic for me for learning ZBLL, but not unrealistic for other people. I'm trying to balance school and cubing, which is turing out to be very hard. I imagine having a job will be the same way after I graduate this December, so I think 2 years is not realistic for me, but not impossible for the human mind in general. I'd like to be done learning in 3-4 years from my start date though.

Also, one more piece of evidence in favor of ZB. In my 7 years of speedcubing I've only gotten sub-13 5 times with Fridrich, and all times were 12.xx seconds. With ZB I think I am now up to either eleven or twelve sub-13 solves (not including my 5 Fridrich ones), which includes one 11.xx and two 10.xx solves. I still have yet to get a 6th sub-13 with Fridrich, and yet lately I've been getting sub-13 more often with ZB. If *I* can get sub-13 on an infrequent, but regular, basis with ZB, imagine what some of the "greats" could do. Food for thought....

I guess that's about it for today, here are my stats for today also and I'll wrap this post up.

Stats for today:
Fastest average: (23.35) 14.63 19.22 17.67 (14.39) 21.18 15.37 20.12 20.52 21.34 22.26 16.66 = 18.90
Slowest average: 20.20 20.38 23.13 22.08 20.45 (24.51) 20.35 22.14 20.30 21.50 (17.53) 22.14 = 21.27
Fastest solve: 12.98 and 12.xx The 12.98 was a stackmat solve, and the 12.xx was timed on a wristwatch. Both were ZBLL solves.
Slowest solve: 55.93 Forgot the ZBF2L case. This was the only one of about 150 solves today where I forgot the ZBF2L.
Average average (of the 10 done today): 19.97

June 8, 2005: Wow, I really can't express how excited I am at my improvement with ZB stuff. I've heard a lot of skeptical arguments lately against ZB, and I wish I wasn't such a slow learner so I could prove them wrong :-) I am very confident that even with just ZBF2L and no ZBLL that I could get sub-17 for a pb average. Once I add in the ZBLL algs I know I think I might be able to get to sub-16 if I were to practice a year or so. My goal now is to learn the entire T orientation as quickly as possible, making me have a 1 look LL around 20% of the time! That's at least one per competition average of 5 if I am lucky, maybe more! It felt really cool when I first started experimenting with doing the extended cross, it just felt "right" somehow when I got a good solve with an Xcross. Well when I get a sub-15 solve (very good for me, so you fast people be quiet :-) with ZBF2L and/or ZBLL it just feels "right". This is definitely my speed solving method, I don't care if it takes 5 years to learn it, I will learn the entirity of the ZB method. Even if it doesn't surpass Fridrich as a speedcubing method, I get much more enjoyment out of a fast ZB solve than a fast Fridrich solve. This is most certainly the speedcubing method for me, without any question.

I've definitely noticed that ZBF2L solving gives me a much, MUCH better sense of the F2L. I not only have to follow the pairs, but to make sure I can identify the ZBF2L case quickly I have to also pay attention to the LL edge orientations the whole time. This is especially true of the 3rd pair, where I have to spend nearly 100% of my brain power to track the pieces of the 4th pair, and to try to anticipate how the LL edges will be oriented. I think this will be the 2nd hardest part of a ZB solve, next to identifying the ZBLL case. Even if ZB isn't faster than Fridrich, I know for certain that I will surpass my solving skill with Fridrich using this method, which is more than enough motivation for me to keep going. Plus it's cool that I am definitely becoming a better cuber by learning this method. I've never had to think this hard for F2L for Fridrich, so it's cool to do something harder - it means I have to get better to be able to do it :-)

I love this method, holy crap, it's amazing! :-)

Stats for today:
Fastest average: 15.10 17.06 21.00 (23.72) 18.38 18.63 17.82 17.10 18.15 16.15 20.67 (14.11) = 18.01
Slowest average: 20.95 17.85 26.08 (15.08) 19.06 23.20 24.18 21.20 15.60 (27.41) 22.26 22.58 = 21.30
Fastest solve: 11.40 skipped a c/e pair during F2L, otherwise just a normal ZBLL solve.
Slowest solve: 1:02.22 Forgot the ZBF2L case. That's still an issue for me, but it happens much less often than it used to.
Average average (of the 8 done today): 19.41

June 6, 2005: I think this is my new favorite ZBLL alg, my fastest execution so far is 1.68 seconds. (r' U') (R U R' U) x M [(U R') (U' r2)] 11 moves STM, so that's 6.55 turns/sec. Try it out, this alg rules. Also have some stats for today, I'm very consistent, only not fast. My averages today were 20.07, 20.72, 18.85. Below are the fastest and slowest ones:
18.24 20.36 20.31 (53.43) 21.22 19.64 20.53 19.27 18.23 (17.81) 25.82 23.57 = 20.72
17.91 19.11 19.98 17.69 19.09 (16.30) 20.27 16.98 (24.54) 17.30 20.97 19.16 = 18.85

June 6, 2005: Took a few averages today, but I lost all the times because my computer got all weird and crashed on me. The slowest was 20.68 I think, and the fastest was 19.75. I am happy that I am still consistent despite my time off, but I'm disappointed that I lost a lot of my speed since Horace Mann. Frank Morris was encouraging me over yahoo for the 19.75, so I owe that sub-20 to him :-D I hope to get my old 19.5 average average back soon.

June 3, 2005: Even after taking two weeks off from ZB stuff to practice for the Horace Mann tourney I still got it :-D
16.28 17.14 21.99 21.85 (14.89) 21.49 18.98 (24.26) 20.30 20.50 18.43 19.61 = 19.66
18.29 18.75 18.45 18.46 16.19 (15.59) 19.83 19.39 17.86 (21.72) 20.16 20.01 = 18.74

[(R U R') (U')] [(R' U R') (U')] D (R' U R) z' (R' U)
This ZBLL algorithm is amazing, I found it last night and replaced the one I used to have for this case. The 15.59 in the second average was this ZBLL case :-D

May 30, 2005: Took about 2 weeks off from doing ZBF2L in order to practice Fridrich for the Horace Mann tournament. I think ZBF2L has helped my F2L, and I've also started to notice that when I am solving Fridrich and normal F2L, I can often identify and remember the alg for the ZBF2L case as I start the regular F2L alg. Now that the tournament is over I am going to focus solely on learning ZBLL algs. I want to know the T orientation in as close to 2 months from today as I can manage. This will put me right around the 18% of ZBLL required to make the average number of moves for this ZB/VH hybrid method to equal Fridrich (52-53 moves). My goal is to use this 18% ZB/VH hybrid system in the 2005 WC. If I learn the ZBLL algs in 2 months, that will give me 3 months to work on recognition, which I can only hope will be enough.

May 7, 2005: Only did two averages today. The first one was straight ZBF2L, nothing special.

21.39 18.97 (13.96) 18.01 19.68 18.46 16.33 20.14 15.72 (21.54) 21.54 17.52 = 18.78
The 15.72 was a ZBLL case, the 13.96 had nothing skipped and was a full ZBF2L/COLL/PLL solve.

This next average was a mix of ZBF2L/COLL/PLL and F2L/OLL/PLL. I did 4 F2L/OLL/PLL solves, mostly near the end. I wanted to try to find a good balance of Fridrich and ZBF2L that I might use at the New York tournament. The 12.52 below was a ZBLL solve.

16.40 18.17 15.85 15.11 (12.52) 17.80 17.74 18.32 16.74 17.38 (19.65) 16.26 = 16.98
If I can practice this 50-50 ZBF2L/F2L solving style, I think I may be comfortable enough with it by May to actually use it. Based on this average it seems that ZBF2L combined with Fridrich can be fast!

I've decided that after the May tournament I'm going to stop taking averages completely until I learn all the ZBLL cases for my first orientation case. That way I'll know 18% of ZBLL roughly, which is the magic number to make (ZBLL)COLL/PLL equal Fridrich exactly in terms of number of moves on average required to solve. I'm going to fully dedicate myself to this 100%, like I did for learning ZBF2L. I'm hoping to get this done in as close to 2 months as I can, the same time frame it took me to learn ZBF2L. That will give me August, September, and October to practice getting used to the algs for speed. Also by then I imagine I'll already be fairly proficient at ZBF2L, so I think I'll catch up to my current 17.8 average-average for F2L/OLL/PLL. Then by 2007 I really want to be solving 100% with ZB, with no exceptions. I'm starting to think that my 2 year goal to learn ZBLL might be a bit ambititous, but I want to wait a year or so before I start to consider moving my deadline back a couple months. I think I may set my goal as the 2007 world championships instead of 2 years after my start date.... Don't know yet, but we'll see.

May 5, 2005: Starting to get my 4x4 times back. ZBF2L seems to be helping a little bit, I've had a few solves where I was able to get an easy CLL/PLL combination following a fast ZBF2L alg, so I still think that this is a worthwhile strategy to pursue for 4x4x4'ing.

1:05.88 1:08.39 1:11.05 1:13.68 1:06.93 1:06.38 1:15.59 1:10.86 1:13.71 (1:02.34) (1:18.70) (pop) 1:12.03 = 1:10.45

I'm really starting to get interested in Gilles' idea about the 2x2x2 and CLL. I want to start working on learning to recognize the CLL cases by which corners switch, and not just by colors. I think this may help me for my regular COLL recognition for the sune cases as well. It can never hurt to learn something new, so I'm definitely going to start learning how the corners switch in each CLL case. Nothing too exciting on the 3x3x3 today, though I am starting to recognize the ZBF2L cases I learned more recently a lot faster now. I can't wait till I've had about 6 good months of practice with the entirity of ZBF2L. Recognition seems like it won't be a problem after enough practice. After the New York competition I'll start working on ZBLL again as well. Well, I'm off to study for my exam tomorrow :-(

May 3, 2005: I've been taking some time away from learning new stuff for ZB and focusing on the puzzles that will be at the May competition in New York. I'm still spending quite a bit of time working on ZBF2L and making sure I remember the ZBLL algs I've learned recently though. That's seems to be at least an ok strategy based on my first Fridrich average in a couple months yesterday. Anyway I've been having some success with ZBF2L on the 4x4x4. I'm still getting used to spotting whether or not I have the parity error at the 4th corner/edge pair, as well as trying to use that to my advantage to do an easier ZBF2L alg that will still leave the only flipped edge in the last layer. I'm still a little out of practice from spending so much time on the 3x3x3 when learning new ZB stuff, but I'm starting to get my good times back some.

1:11.42 1:21.60 1:14.97 1:06.75 (1:42.66) 1:11.10 1:26.09 (57.46) 1:17.10 1:11.54 1:10.13 1:04.41 = 1:13.51
Done with a hybrid ZBF2L/COLL/PLL and OLL/PLL approach to the 3rd step of soving as a 3x3x3. I think this could come in handy as a strategy with more practice.

May 2, 2005: The 80's dance was a lot of fun. I got to do a solve in front of about 200-300 people. I know it wasn't a sub-20, but I'm almost certain that it was a low 20 (20-22). I ended up doing Fridrich due to the pressure and also the low lighting. I also just took my first pure Fridrich 3x3x3 average since January 27, the day I started learning ZBF2L. No joke, the average was 16.92, which I would have considered a very good average before I stopped doing pure Fridrich. This is starting to make me think that I should do pure Fridrich at the May tournament, instead of ZBF2L. As fun as it would be to try ZBF2L, I'm starting to take to heart what Lars Vandenbergh told me in an e-mail: (paraphrased somewhat) it's better in a competition to use a method that you know 100% than to use a better one that you know only 75% or so. Also, based on how I responded under pressure at the 80's dance I think I can safely say that I would delay just as much trying to do ZBF2L in May. I guess it's my goal to prepare myself to be able to use ZBF2L in November. I am steadily progressing, and hopfully in the 7 months till then I can get my ZBF2L averages to equal my Fridrich averages. It's frustrating to know that I will have spent 4 months working my ass off to learn algs that I won't use at all in May, but I can reconcile that if I spend 11 months learning those algs to use at the world competition. Oh well, we'll see what happens in November I guess.

18.95 18.42 15.12 16.07 17.60 (20.35) 17.00 15.82 17.09 (13.66) 16.22 16.94 = 16.92
This was my first pure Fridrich average since January 27, for almost 13 weeks. Recognizing the last F2L pair is pathetically easy after being used to trying to recognize the ZBF2L case. I think I'll use ZBF2L as my method of practicing for May, but at the actual competition I'll honestly probably end up doing pure Fridrich. I can't wait until I know ZBF2L well enough to use it in competition. :-(

April 30, 2005: Haven't posted in 5 days, so here's an update. Lately I've noticed that I hardly ever forget ZBF2L cases completely and have to look it up again. I do though often have to pause for an extra few seconds after the 3rd pair to separate the case I have out from 3-4 other similar ones in my head. Also, today I get to perform a cube solve on stage at our school's 80's dance, it will be in front of about 500-600 people, so I'm pretty excited! I'm going to try ZBF2L if I recognize the case quickly, but I'll do OLL/PLL if I think it might take me a second to recall the case. I'll try to post on that tomorrow.

Today's stats 3x3x3:
Fastest average: 19.67 (22.94) 17.19 (15.57) 16.51 18.60 15.80 17.95 18.90 19.73 20.67 17.46 = 18.25
Slowest average: 19.59 17.17 25.46 19.18 (28.27) 16.50 (13.74) 22.07 15.82 17.08 23.20 18.50 = 19.46
Fastest solve: 13.04
Slowest solve: 28.27
Average average (of the 6 done today): 18.95

I finally went sub-19 for an average-average for the day :) I'm a little less than 1.5 seconds slower than with Fridrich now, and I'm getting much more comfortable with ZBF2L. I definitely don't have any doubts about the usefulness and quickness of ZBF2L with enough practice.

Today's stats 2x2x2:
Fastest average: 7.01 6.13 6.60 7.02 5.81 8.33 5.34 (4.64) (11.33) 8.66 7.91 9.40 = 7.22 (my new record)
Slowest average: (6.07) 7.44 7.86 6.16 7.80 7.78 8.27 11.77 9.28 7.64 (11.87) 9.86 = 8.39
Fastest solve: 3.75 (my new record)
Slowest solve: 17.67
Average average (of the 7 done today): 7.71

I think solving the 3x3x3 using VH techniques for the LL is definitely helping me improve my COLL recognition. I hope to go sub-7 for the 2x2x2 soon.

April 25, 2005: Today I started seriously considering ways to adapt ZBF2L to my 4x4x4 solving. I think it will be difficult to get used to having an incorrect number of correctly oriented last layer edges in the last layer (because of the parity error), but I think this can be overcome with practice. I hope to one day use ZBF2L / COLL / PLL on the 4x4.

New record average:
17.08 18.61 18.35 15.15 16.97 19.07 (14.91) 16.96 (20.74) 20.63 15.93 18.50 = 17.72

Learning a new method is both incredibly exciting and extremely frustrating! Check out this average,
16.62 14.29 15.55 22.82 14.61 15.72 20.60 (1:51.29) 19.94 (13.71) 16.81 31.48 = 18.84

Three sub-15 times in the same average, 3!! 3!!!!!! That is very unusual for me with Fridrich, and yet at the same time I have a 31 second solves that counts for the average! Aaaaaah!!! *tries to rip out hair* I am both excited and extremely frustrated at my incredibly inconsistent times. It's cool that I can still get sub-19 with a counting 31 second solve, and yet it sucks because in the same average that I have three (3!!) sub-15 solves I also have a counting 31 second solve!!! Aaaaah!!!!! I both love and hate ZBF2L :-D I love it because it makes the LL so, ridiculously easy. And I hate it because it is very hard to learn to master! I definitely have it learned, but it will probably take another 6 months before I will even begin to consider myself as "proficient" at it. *eye twitch* ........ *eye twitch* ... I'll be ok... really........... *eye twitch*

April 23, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 19.88 17.48 17.04 (22.68) 19.72 19.74 18.04 21.06 19.78 (17.00) 19.21 19.44 = 19.14
Slowest average: 18.50 (15.53) 20.18 19.30 (22.63) 18.59 16.67 19.77 21.90 18.61 20.88 21.22 = 19.56
Fastest solve: 14.89
Slowest solve: 40.12
Average average (of the 4 done today): 19.34

Ian Winokur and I did a few team blindfold solves over my webcam today. I was doing the solving and he was calling out the moves. I'm learning his and Raul's codes for the F2L, OLL, and PLL so I still have a lot of work to do. What got me excited is that for the last F2L pair Ian would call out the F2L case, then the correct edges so that I could do a ZBF2L alg. Most of the time I was able to do this correctly, though I messed it up a good bit too. This is cool though, because it means that for some of the ZBF2L cases I am comfortable enough with the alg to do it without even seeing the cube! I still have a ways to go to be able to do that with all of them, but I'm excited! This showed me that I am making progress with ZBF2L!

April 21, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 17.60 20.05 15.38 19.65 19.17 16.94 18.56 (14.97) 15.09 17.16 (25.28) 22.96 = 18.26
Slowest average: (16.32) 25.88 19.37 17.62 19.28 20.11 22.53 24.08 19.88 (37.10) 18.58 24.52 = 21.18
Fastest solve: 13.45
Slowest solve: 45.22
Average average (of the 13 done today): 19.55

Aaaah I want to break my 17.80 record soooo badly!!! At least my average average is dropping, I now average 18-20 seconds most of the time. Right now I am almost as good with semi-ZB as I was with Fridrich at the 2004 US Championships. My average average is a little slower now, but not by a whole lot.

April 19, 2005: I've decided to officially make ZB my main speedsolving method. I have a lot of faith in my belief that I'll one day be able to break my fastest 16.34 Fridrich average using ZB, whereas I don't think I could go much faster than that with Fridrich. Also, Jean Pons went sub-14 with Fridrich yesterday (4/18/04) and I realized that I don't think I could ever do that with Fridrich, my brain just doesn't work with Fridrich like it does for Jean, Macky, Ron, Frank, etc.. Plus I think it's a lot of fun knowing and being able to fluently solve using ZBF2L, something I used to think might be unreasonable because of the number of algs needed. Anyway, I now consider myself a just barely consistent sub-20 for the first time cuber, since I will no longer practice Fridrich, except for ways that OLL->PLL are useful as a special case in ZB. Jessica it's not that I don't like your method, it is the fastest speedcubing method known in the world, it's just that my brain can't grasp it as well as others can. I still think your method is the best in the world, just not for me :)

Today's stats:
Fastest average: 18.86 15.43 18.69 18.56 20.66 (27.24) (14.29) 16.81 25.46 17.08 19.01 16.30 = 18.69 The 17.08 was an OLL/PLL special case.
Slowest average: (16.53) 22.38 22.99 (26.59) 19.81 23.71 18.61 19.80 19.14 21.92 20.20 19.28 = 20.78
Fastest solve: 14.29
Slowest solve: 27.24
Average average (of the 4 done today): 19.60

April 18, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: (16.35) 18.13 18.98 (27.49) 17.94 20.18 18.84 16.96 17.48 18.09 20.82 20.58 = 18.80
Slowest average: 18.65 17.58 25.64 (17.46) 19.27 24.24 19.34 20.92 18.79 23.94 18.87 (33.99) = 20.72
Fastest solve: 15.00
Slowest solve: 34.15
Average average (of the 5 done today): 19.85

I am going to claim sub-20 status with ZBF2L, since I can now back it up with hard data. My slowest averages are starting to be 21 or less and I get a greater majority of sub-20 averages than non sub-20 averages each day. I went consistent sub-20 with Fridrich in summer 2003, so I still have a way to go before I can catch up to my Fridrich times.

April 17, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 18.64 17.56 19.28 (20.25) 16.97 18.14 19.79 16.38 17.98 (14.09) 18.22 18.19 = 18.12
Slowest average: 18.05 20.28 (15.45) 21.38 23.52 20.15 20.87 20.85 (26.57) 23.49 17.78 24.00 = 21.04
Fastest solve: 14.09 This was a special case OLL/PLL solve. I think OLL is definitely worth knowing for ZB.
Slowest solve: 26.57
Average average (of the 6 done today): 19.66

April 15, 2005: Today's stats:
Fastest average: 16.31 (14.90) (25.83) 19.36 20.70 17.78 17.81 17.24 15.86 22.52 15.52 14.91 = 17.80
Slowest average: 18.84 21.77 20.49 (24.28) 23.25 23.79 21.39 21.89 (17.38) 22.21 19.21 18.12 = 21.51
Fastest solve: 14.90
Slowest solve: 29.71
Average average (of the 9 done today): 19.86 (I'm sub-20 on average now!)

April 13, 2005: Here are my stats for today.
Fastest average: 17.30 17.42 18.08 (16.30) 18.96 (26.16) 16.46 16.47 18.71 17.69 17.83 19.74 = 17.87 (new record with ZBF2L!)
Slowest average: 20.41 18.30 (16.69) 18.66 24.44 20.66 25.50 22.13 22.43 (38.34) 24.64 21.21 = 21.84
Fastest solve: 12.25 non lucky (recognized and correctly did the ZBLL alg).
Slowest solve: 1:09.57 I couldn't recall the ZBF2L alg for about 50 something seconds.
Average average (of the 13 done today): 20.53

April 12, 2005: Set a new pb average today using ZBF2L, 19.01 seconds. I also finished learning all the ZBLL algs for my second COLL case. The total ZBLL count now stands at 53 algs or 10.75%.
16.64 20.87 18.77 18.58 21.65 19.91 16.16 20.05 (25.31) 16.39 (14.89) 21.03 = 19.01

April 11, 2005: My average-average is steadily dropping, and is fairly steady around 21 seconds or less. I still stutter on the ZBF2L cases I learned more recently, but that is starting to happen less often. Interestingly I find my fastest times using ZBF2L (sub-15) are done when I am solving the entire F2L at a much slower pace than when I solve with Fridrich. It feels like I am solving at only 80%-90% of my Fridrich F2L speed, and yet I still get a sub-15. Also, today I got a non-lucky 12 second solve using ZB techniques. On that solve I did ZBF2L and recognized and correctly executed the ZBLL alg. I've only gotten five 12 seconds solves in my life using Fridrich, so to get a 12 second solve with ZB after 3 months has me very, very excited! I hope to continue to improve like this!

24.48 16.19 23.22 (13.24) 17.56 24.76 16.51 19.31 21.69 (25.66) 19.60 16.22 = 19.95
The 16.22 was one of those special case solves where I could insert both the 3rd and 4th corner/edge pairs in relatively few moves so I did OLL->PLL for the LL instead of ZBF2L. I think I will continue to use OLL/PLL on these types of special case solves.

(13.00) 21.51 24.60 15.43 (29.05) 19.85 16.28 20.54 22.64 21.81 17.72 20.92 = 20.13

April 9, 2005: Below are some averages I took today. I had 2 solves out of all these where I knew and correctly executed the ZBLL alg, and I had 2 solves where I had correctly oriented corners after the ZBF2L alg. My averages have dropped from about 28-29 seconds to 22-23, which makes me glad that I am showing some improvement using all these algs. I'm almost done with my second COLL case for ZBLL, after that I will know about 30 ZBLL algs, 51 counting the PLL algs (51/493 = 10.34% !!). Interestingly the 14.54 solve below was done using OLL->PLL. I saw that I was able to insert the 3rd and 4th corner edge pairs in about 8 moves and did that instead of inserting the 3rd pair in 5 and using a ZBF2L alg for the last pair. This is cool, it seems that knowing the OLL algs will help for certain special cases when finishing the F2L. I'd like to continue to use OLL algs whenver I have a really easy way to insert the last two pairs, rather than only inserting one and using a ZBF2L alg to solve the last pair, using many more moves for the whole solve.
(14.54) 21.74 29.47 26.78 21.67 24.87 17.98 (54.90) 21.24 47.30 30.71 16.22 = 25.80
26.39 (31.34) 18.23 16.54 23.09 26.91 25.65 20.98 19.95 26.36 25.49 (16.28) = 22.96
23.56 (17.00) 27.61 23.13 19.82 22.05 18.43 21.67 (1:03.77) 26.62 18.87 18.67 = 22.04
18.45 28.66 (29.05) 19.48 24.42 (16.68) 24.68 24.93 19.30 24.64 25.33 17.02 = 22.69

This average was done later in the day. Sub-20! These were all done with scrambles from Netcube, and on the 27.47 solve I was able to spot a 7 move double Xcross during inspection, but I messed up the ZBF2L alg near the end.
16.75 19.10 17.90 20.79 (27.47) (15.44) 21.68 18.68 17.54 18.28 19.18 24.85 = 19.48

April 6, 2005: Start learning 2nd of 8 orientation cases for ZBLL

April 6, 2005: Start learning ZBLL algs

April 6, 2005: I finished rehearsing cases today. What I did was to go through cases 19-23 again, paying particular attention to learning ways to differentiate cases 20 from 22 and 21 from 23. I now have a clear mental picture of each case, and though I'm still not quite comfortable speedcubing these cases, I can now recall them with far less trouble than a week ago. Now that I have a good grasp of ZBF2L, though of course I need more practice to recognize each case quickly, I will move on to the ZBLL.
18.25 15.69 22.44 18.60 19.76 (13.11) 20.46 16.90 24.38 21.70 18.70 (26.76) = 19.69

April 5, 2005: What can I say, I either recognize the cases quickly or I don't. Rehearsing cases is going well. I'm paying particular attention to cases that are similar, and learning ways to separate them in my head. I'm feeling very confident about ZBF2L and I can't wait until I get more comfortable with it. I have a feeling that I can average 15 seconds using VH with a ZBF2L basis. That of course implies lots and lots of practice.
17.89 (16.24) 18.03 24.44 19.89 28.79 (42.37) 17.64 18.93 21.97 22.89 17.58 = 20.80
19.91 19.59 18.15 23.29 (26.78) 21.81 23.32 22.65 17.12 17.26 26.05 (15.27) = 20.92
19.06 22.83 (17.71) 21.80 18.04 20.69 21.33 18.71 23.87 (1:10.06) 18.48 20.15 = 20.50
17.32 17.56 23.28 18.70 15.93 24.98 25.53 16.56 (15.35) (40.94) 21.20 17.36 = 19.84

April 4, 2005: Got another sub-20 again today. I get sub-20 times a lot more frequently using ZBF2L now. I'm still working on improving recognition for the algs. I've also noticed that I am having really big problems with interference. Many of the cases are similar to 4 or 5 other cases and I often confuse them. I'm also finding that I can't recall lots of the cases I've recently learned until I look up the first move or two, then the rest comes flooding back to me. I'm rehearsing 2-3 cases a day to try to work on the ones I'm having the most trouble with. I'm no longer learning new cases, but I am definitely spending a lot of time relearning cases that I can't seem to recall under any sort of pressure. I imagine in about a month I will be fairly familiar and comfortable with using ZBF2L all the time.
18.89 20.68 18.41 17.72 17.64 (15.90) 20.23 20.94 20.95 20.17 (23.38) 23.06 = 19.87

March 31, 2005: Finish learning ZBF2L

March 31, 2005: I finished learning ZBF2L today! I now know all 158 cases and can orient the edges on every solve without having to convert any cases I don't know to one that I do. Now begins the work on improving recognition and making sure I can recall the algs in speedsolves. I'd say that I still need to work on 4 of the F2L cases to completely cement them in my head for quick recollection, however I can recall every case now given enough time. Yay! I figure I'll practice recognition and moving the algs to my subconscious for 2-3 weeks before I move on to the ZBLL. It took me 64 days to learn all 158 cases, or 2.45 cases per day. My goal was to learn ZBF2L in roughly two months, leaving a little bit short of 22 months for the ZBLL to meet my goal of learning everything in less than two years. ZBF2L is not at all impossible, in fact it is conquerable in a little over two months!

March 28, 2005: I had a really interesting average today. The chance of having all corners correctly oriented after doing ZBF2L is 1/27, and in this average I had it happen 4 times! The odds of that happening are 495*(1/27)^4*(26/27)^8 = 0.0689% or roughly 1/1450. The 1450 means every 1450 averages of 10 though, so I would have to do about 17,400 more solves before I saw this again. Cool!
20.40 28.47 (15.60) 19.22 20.95 20.42 18.48 21.86 22.21 20.28 (1:32.97) 18.92 = 21.12

This next average was taken later in the day. Recognition for the last c/e pair and LL edges seemed to go very quickly during this average. I'm starting to get more and more averages where I know all the ZBF2L cases and don't have to convert a case I don't know into one I do know. I can't wait till I know all the cases! It definitely helps to do the 3rd pair at less than full speed.
19.67 23.07 (17.01) (25.85) 18.44 21.26 19.02 20.77 20.41 21.51 20.30 19.79 = 20.42

Later in the day again. Sub-20!!!! The 19.89 and 16.55 were ZBLL solves, and the 14.86 was a PLL skip after COLL.
19.89 17.95 20.20 (14.86) 16.55 19.87 18.71 17.77 22.80 (28.95) 21.76 24.08 = 19.96

March 27, 2005: The dynamics of the F2L definitely changes when using ZBF2L. I find it is better to slow down a lot when inserting the 3rd F2L pair in order to try to get an idea of what the ZBF2L case will be before it comes up. I think it will be best to do the 4th pair + orienting edges as a "look", meaning to perform the algorithm as quickly as possible (or maybe very, very slightly under top speed) and just recognize the COLL case afterward. When using full ZB though, I think it would be better to do the ZBF2L alg at maybe 75% speed in order to again get an idea of what the ZBLL case will be before it comes up. Again, these are just my notes on what I think would be a good idea based on what I know so far.
21.31 21.73 21.98 24.62 (32.91) (18.21) 19.10 20.55 19.67 20.45 22.42 21.18 = 21.30 This was a VH (ZBF2L/COLL/PLL) average using 86.71% of ZBF2L.

March 26, 2005: As of today I know 86.71% of ZBF2L, or 137 out of 158 cases not counting reflections. I have to learn 3 more standard F2L cases and I will be done!

March 13, 2005: As of today I know 77.85% of ZBF2L, or 123 out of 158 cases not counting reflections. I finally passed the 75% mark!

March 9, 2005: Still experimenting with ZBF2L on the 4x4x4. This average was a little more normal F2L and OLL heavy than ZBF2L, but I still was able to get a couple fast ZBF2L solves.
1:11.48 1:10.20 1:17.92 1:00.84 1:16.26 (1:00.28) (1:31.11) 1:10.59 1:11.38 1:08.63 1:25.45 1:16.84 = 1:12.96

This next average was done later in the day Mar. 9th. I think I did ZBF2L on either 5 or 6 solves in this average, so about 50-50. I'm going to stop taking averages for a while and get back to learning more cases. After that I'll try more 4x4 averages and see how it goes.
1:07.09 1:12.03 1:10.47 1:15.01 1:12.85 (1:28.90) 1:07.68 1:19.01 1:07.60 1:14.64 1:16.68 (1:00.67) = 1:12.31

March 6, 2005: My first sub-80 on the 4x4x4 using ZBF2L during the 3x3x3 step. I think I can easily take 2-3 seconds or more off my 1:08.95 best average once I perfect using ZBF2L on the 4x4x4.
1:12.10 1:19.64 1:18.00 1:13.78 1:19.00 1:12.92 1:13.36 1:22.48 (1:04.87) (1:24.24) 1:18.13 1:23.67 = 1:17.31

Here's another average from later in the day for the 4x4 using ZBF2L. I had a few mess-ups with using ZBF2L and I learned through the 1:38 solve the ZBLL is not a good strategy for the 4x4 because of the edge parities. My goal now is to perfect using the VH method for the 4x4 as a 3x3 step.
1:04.71 (1:03.99) 1:11.11 1:23.14 1:19.09 1:12.72 1:11.88 1:26.09 (1:38.44) 1:14.08 1:09.35 1:23.45 = 1:15.56

March 3, 2005: I set my first sub-20 average using the VH system today. As of today I am using about 64% of ZBF2L.
(15.51) 17.56 18.02 18.57 16.83 22.42 19.75 20.84 (32.23) (POP) 20.26 25.23 16.62 = 19.61

January 27, 2005: Start learning ZBF2L algs

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