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FMC: a Complete Tutorial

porkynator

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I have finally finished this huge tutorial. It gathers every known technique in one place (I hope I didn't miss anything).
Disclaimer: English is not my first language, so there may be mistakes or poorly written parts. Also, I haven't read it through a second time, so there may be typos as well.

In the past someone pointed out that my writing style is boring: yes, I understand it is. The way this tutorial is written probably won't motivate you if you aren't already. I used to blame the fact that I am not writing in my language, but when writing the Italian version of this tutorial I found out it was boring in the same way. Too bad.

Feel free to translate this to any other language and to distribute this or other version anywhere. Just don't translate my name under the title with yours :)

You can download the PDF from here.

Let me know if you find any mistake or if there is some technique that I didn't include or for any other reason.

Happy FMC.

P.S.: Fun fact: the Italian version is almost 3 pages longer, though I have almost never shortened sentences on purpose. Sometimes I changed the structure of some sentences so that they didn't sound like they were poorly translated from Italian (which they are). Linguist geek may have fun with this.

2014-09-04 Update:

- Some "bugfixing" (including the missing ' in that 2c2e alg) (thanks to obelisk477).
- Specified that the inverse of a 2c2e alg solves the same case (thank to cuBerBruce).
- Expanded the "Get Lucky" section with two examples: "Insert Last Pair" and "How to Use Algorithms" (thanks to Bruce and Cubenovice).
- Added a reference to multislotting, with D R U R' D' as an example; together with the example solve I used to explain premoves, it should cover the "skewed pairs" topic (thanks to cuBerBruce).
- Added a section under "Advanced Tools": "Pair Analysis". Go find out what it is :)

2017-08-23 BIG UPDATE!
Version 2.0 is here! Basically it just look better, but I have also updated some stuff (like records and links) and added examples and pictures. See the first pages for more about what's new.

The old link still works. The old version is available here.


2020-01-14 Version 3.0 is out!

List of changes:
Since the last version of this tutorial I have fixed like a million typos and probably introduced a lot of new ones. I have also decided to replace .png images with .svg ones, which look much better.
I have removed the appendix with last layer algorithms and just linked a raw text file instead. I have moved the general section on EO to Chapter 2 and merged the remainder of Chapter 4 with Chapter 3.
Other than that, I have added a few sections:
  • Sections 2.4.6 and 3.8 on edge insertions.
  • Section 2.5.3 about partial domino reduction.
  • Section 3.4 about using NISS to find nice EOs.
  • Section 3.7.1 “Skew centers and NISS”.
  • Section 3.10, “Replace and shorten”.
  • Appendix C, “Some exercises by Reto Bubendorf”.
  • Appendix D, a short introduction to domino reduction.
All the rest is just minor changes.


The link to the new version is always the same. The old version (2.0) is avalable here.
 
Last edited:

priazz

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Aug 4, 2014
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Esportiamo la cultura italiana del FMC!
We export the italian FMC culture!
 

goodatthis

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This is absolutely great. I will definitely use this as much as I can for FMC. Also, your English is fine, I barely noticed anything wrong with it.

EDIT: This should definitely be stickied! :tu
 

cuBerBruce

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Overall, a very nice document.

I think one of the glaring omissions in the document is the technique of making use of symmetries and inverses in algs, where applicable. Well, I know this issue (and even cyclic shifts) is talked about briefly on page 21, but I think being aware of when you can use mirrors and inverses, or apply algs from another angle is so fundamental for FMC, that it should have its own section.

For example, an OLL case that is solved by:

R U R' U' R' F R F'

can also be solved by the mirror alg:

R' U' R U R B' R' B

This gives two possibilities for a PLL skip instead of one. (Or at least two chances of cancelling out the previous move, saving at least 2 moves.)

The double-sune OLL case has 8 possibilities. The standard alg won't change corner permutation, but all 8 3-cycles of the 4 edge pieces (preserving orientation) can be accomplished, simply from using the standard alg or its inverse, its mirror or its mirror's inverse; and applying from appropriate angles.

An A-perm can be replaced by an inverse mirror, again with the possibility of getting a better cancellation.

Pure piece-swapping algs (standard J-perm and T-perm, for example) are always self-inverse, so you can always apply the inverse in place of the "normal" alg(s) that you know. This gives you another chance to get good cancellations when using these algs for insertions (or even linear finishes).

One other thing, in talking about corner 3-cycles, I'm not sure that it was mentioned that the same 3-cycle can often have two different 8-move commutator solutions. A good cancellation could be missed if only one of them is considered.

It doesn't look to me that there is any mention of corner/edge pair 3-cycles.

There are some CFOP-related techniques not mentioned, though perhaps not very mainstream by experts as they tend to avoid CFOP generally. There is the technique of solving skewed corner/edge "pairs." There is also a rather obscure technique of using slot-swapping "PLLs." (Have you ever wished you could do an "N-perm" in 5 moves?)

All in all, I would say it's probably far from "complete," but at least a good solid introduction to most of the standard techniques.
 

Prakhar

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Feb 21, 2014
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You must have made this tutorial earlier but it would be unfair to Vincent Shew if you don't add his name with Sébastien Auroux in Intro. Please do the same.
 

Lucas Garron

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This looks very nice! I can't think of anything obvious that's missing (although Bruce's examples of symmetries are useful), and it looks great for solvers of any skill level.

Have you considered making this a website, e.g. a page (or multiple pages) at fmcsolves.cubing.net?
In particular, being able to link to specific sections would be useful. I think this could also benefit from continual updates, which is usually more appropriate for a website than a PDF. (Although you can still provide a PDF, like we do for the Regulations.)
 

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