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Interview with Feliks Zemdegs

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October 19, 2010 : Interview with Speedsolving.com member Feliks Zemdegs : Currently (at the time of this interview) holds the World Record for 3x3x3 Average (8.52 Seconds), 4x4x4 Single (34.41 Seconds), 5x5x5 Single and Average (1:02.93/1:07.59), 2x2x2 Average (2.35 Seconds), and 3x3x3 One-Handed Average (14.76 Seconds).


Location:
Melbourne, Australia

Occupation:
Student

What is your favorite event, why?
My favourite event is probably the 3x3 speedsolve. It’s the main event of the WCA, and the one I practice most. Some other events that I practice a lot at the moment are 4x4 and 7x7. I've basically given up on 5x5, and OH, as I don't think I will be able to beat my official personal best's for a long time, if ever. I'm also getting into more memory oriented events, like multi-BLD, and big-cube BLD. My memory methods really suck though. I want to attempt a 5x5 BLD soon.

What made you become interested in solving puzzles?
I was browsing youtube, and noticed the youtube awards. Dan Brown’s “How to solve a Rubik’s cube” video was listed as the best instructional video. I checked around the house to see if we had a Rubik’s cube, but after not finding anything, I went out and bought a cheap $5 cube from a shop. Later that day I solved the cube with the video, and began to explore all the cubing videos. I watched the most popular ones of course. I was pretty happy when I beat the 3 year old girl in this video. :p

What, in your opinion, is your biggest "cubing" accomplishment?
My biggest cubing accomplishment would definitely be my 9.21 average World Record. After the first solve I definitely didn’t think I was going to get it, as it was going to be 11.xx or so, but luckily I was saved by a PLL skip. I was thrilled to get it, as I honestly didn’t think I could, after the first solve. I remember finishing my 4th solve, and Dene exclaimed “Wow it’s already sub 10!” At that point it felt like all the pressure had been lifted off, and I was able to relax, and I pulled off the fastest solve in the average. I think that in my future competitions, I will be able to relax more, as I have already achieved my goal. (After watching the 10.91 on camera, I was kicking myself for not doing the easy 2gll case, instead of a locky Chameleon – G perm :p)

What are your other hobbies?
I don’t really have other hobbies. I played the piano for a bit, but I wasn’t very good. I play the alto saxophone for 3 bands. I can juggle 4 balls, and do some 3 ball tricks, but that’s about it in the way of hobbies.

What is/are your pet peeve(s)?
Umm, don’t really have any major pet peeves. One thing I do hate explaining is when people ask me “are you the best in the world” because I always have to explain about the single, and average of 5 categories.

What will the future of cubing be like and how would you like cubing to progress?
I think the future of cubing will be more speed oriented, and focus less on the participation. I do hope that everyone will still be able to have solves in major events, and it will not be invitational, or have competing limits. I think that a sub 8 global average is possible, and possibly a sub 7 average of 12. I want to see that all events remain competitive, and world records keep on being broken.

So far, what has been your most enjoyable cubing experience?
My most enjoyable cubing experience was probably one of my competitions. The New Zealand competition was my first comp, and it was really cool meeting Dene, and other cubers, and participating in a competition. The Melbourne Summer Open 2010, however, was much more fun for me, as all of the Melbourne cubers had such a great time, and I didn’t stuff up much at all :D. The Australian nationals, the 2 day competition was very fun too, and also tiring. I get an incredible feeling when I do an official solve, as I know that it will be in the WCA database, and it will be displayed on the world rankings. I'm looking forward to the Asian championships in a few weeks too.
 
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