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Interview with Feliks Zemdegs (March, 2012)

pjk

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This interview was originally posted in March, 2012, by Sillas Tsutsui da Silva (@Sillas)

If your main challenge was to overcome yourself? Every day In each solve, each record, if the parameter of the humanly possible was you? How would you deal with the pressure?

He broke 26 World Records in 2011 - the second place, 4.
The best Speedcuber of the history. You should know about what I'm talking :)

Well, he's Feliks Zemdegs. This person changed the limits of the Speedcubing. He granted me an interview, about his training, memorization, PB's, personal preferences and color neutrality, of course. The complete interview, you can read below. Enjoy! ;)

Interview with Feliks Zemdegs

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date: 14/02/2012


-What is your PB';s (personal best) in the puzzles 2x2-7x7 (lucky/nl/5/12/100) ?

2x2:
no idea/no idea/1.6x/1.8x/2.1x
3x3: 4.68/unsure/6.94/7.78
3x3 OH: 8.xy/unsure/11.xy/12.2x or something/14.xy
4x4: 26.xy/unsure/34.xy/unsure
5x5: 48.23/56.xy/1:00.xy
6x6: 1:43/Mid 1:50's/2:00.xy/2:06.xy
7x7: 2:59/3:2x/3:29/3:38

Color Neutrality

-About color neutrality, it can helps in what you? Just in the cross?

It helps in the cross, and the lookahead to the first pair, which in turn helps the whole solve flow.

-What is your advice for cubers that want to be color neutral?
Start practicing it as soon as possible, it's easiest to learn it when you first learn to solve a cube, but if you want to switch, it's definitely possible, quite a few people have done it

-Since when you are Color neutral? Somebody adviced you?
Since I learnt the cube. In his video, Dan Brown (pogobat) advises people to not only solve on green, but start solving on the easiest cross to cut off time, which makes sense logically.

Training/memorization
-How many hours for day you train (in average)? Where? And how you divide your train?
In 2009/2010, a fair bit; it's never easy to put a number on it, but if I was to have a guess, maybe 30-60 minutes Monday-Friday, and 1hour+ on weekends. I normally practice in my room, but it often helps to do casual, slow solves, just practicing lookahead, and messing around with the cube. I had no regime, I just practiced whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to.

In 2011, it probably looked like I was practicing heaps, but really, I just maintained my speed, taking breaks, and solving less. This year, and next year are the most important schooling years, and I really don't see myself going crazy with the cube like I did when I was 13 or so.

-What is your advice for cube training?
Only practice when you want to, don’t force it. Do slow solves without a timer. Play around with the cube, try things out.
Breaks make you better; Stefan Huber/Breandan Vallance

-Where did you get the algorithms that you use?
The ones I first learnt for OLL and PLL were from Badmephisto.com, but since then I’ve learnt so many different cases and algs, from a wide variety of sources, and I don't really remember.

-What is your technique for memorization and recognition of cases?
Just do it. Practice. There is no secret to learning and recognizing cases. It takes time, and practice. The more algs that you learn, the easier they become to learn.

Inspection

-What you see/find in the inspection time?
Cross and first pair. If I don't find the first pair in inspection, it is usually not a great solve.

Personal
-What WR let you more accomplished?
I think my favourite world record was the 3x3 single; 7.03, just because I finally did what everyone was expecting me to do. Some others that stick out are the 9.21 average for 3x3, the sub minute average for 5x5 at worlds, and probably my 4x4 blindfolded; as it was so unexpected.

-What are your best friends that more help you?
Well, I could go on forever naming people who inspired me, or who I consider good friends. The cubers here in Melbourne are all really cool, the community is really nice. Some of my friends from school also take interest in what I do.

-Do you listen music when you are solving and training? What kind of?
Yes, most of the time, as you can see in my videos, otherwise it gets quite boring.
I enjoy all sorts of music, and my tastes change day to day. The main artists I listen to are: 360, Coldplay, Crowded house, Eminem, Evanescence (yeah, bit weird), MGMT, Muse, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Red Hot Chili peppers, and Tim Minchin, but he doesn’t really count
Also, I recently downloaded this, and I'm listening to all of those songs at the moment (link)

-What you want to be when you grow up? (occupation)
I’m not too sure at this stage, I'm looking towards something in the engineering or business fields.

-Do you want, more forward, to create a new method?
No, I’ll leave that to other people :p

-What the best cube in your opinion? And what is that you more trained?
It’s all personal preference, but generally any Dayan brand cube is really good. In my opinion, the ZhanChi is the best for speedcubing.

-How their parents deal with you cubing?
My dad comes to competitions to help out and film, and as long as I’m not cubing when they go to sleep, they don't really mind it.

What is your favorite subject in the school ?
Maths or Chemistry

- Do you practice some kind of physical exercise?
If by physical exercise, you mean sport, then I play tennis, soccer, and golf
But if it was for cubing - I don't do any specific drills or exercises for cubing.

Thank you so much, Feliks for your collaboration and patience. This was very interesting.

So, that was The Fazt. :D

"Contrary to appearances there is a great gulf between Feliks and other speedcubers. At this point I cannot see anybody who could beat his Rubiks Cube records." Z.Z.
"Feliks is simply incredible. I miss words that would describe his cube skills. Not in my wildest dreams I
would ever imagine that someone could solve the cube this fast. He is an outlier among outliers. I have never
met him in person and do not know the details of his technique"
Jessica Fridrich

Feliks’ Channel
Fazdad Channel

By: Sillas Tsutsui da Silva
 
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