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Interview with Jessica Fridrich and Zbigniew Zborowski about Feliks Zemdegs

pjk

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This interview was originally posted March 14th, 2012, by Sillas Tsutsui da Silva (@Sillas)

This is an Interview with Jessica Fridrich – who developed the most used method for Speedcubing - and Zbiginiew Zborowski - that developed the ZZ Method and is one of creators of ZB method.

Two great names of Speedcubing answering questions about Feliks Zemdegs, the current world record holder 3x3, with 5.66 seconds (non-luck solve) and a lot of others WR's.

First I was thinking to make a video, but that interview seems to me more interesting than a video. :)

Zbigniew Zborowski part of the interview:
Location: Poland

- What you think about Feliks Zemdegs records and his technique?
I am very impressed by Feliks technical; his fingers move so quickly that I cannot catch situations and algs he uses.
I am sure he practises very much and, first of all, he has got unique talent!
His records speak for themselves - they are incredible like his solving.

- Do you think that there is now someone who can beat the Feliks' records ? Taking into account that top cubers rarely a time sub-6 and almost always when they are lucky.
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.
But history shows that nothing lasts forever. My conviction borders on certainty there will soon appear someone who will beat today records.

- Have you seen anyone so many times beat their own world records or come close to do it?
I guess this is the longest series - this situation is really exceptional! What more Feliks does not seem to stop right now.

- And what do you think about the time limit for speedcubing today? It's really close to the edge of the humanly possible?
No, I do not think so! I thought so many years ago, when records were about 15 seconds.
Now I am far from putting any limits. Speedcubing is still too young as the sport discipline - we have to wait for achieving a kind of records stasis.

- Do you think that may arise most efficient methods for Speedcubing than Fridrich (CFOP) and ZB?
I am sure there will arise better methods that will even displace Fridrich, but I do not think that will happen in near future.
There are too many speedcubers using Fridrich.
There has to appear a new talent, like Feliks, who will use, since his very beginnings, well prepared better-than-fridrich method.
Maybe several-years-records stasis will be a kind of trigger to look for new possibilities using other methods?
Future will show...

------------------------------

Jessica Fridrich part of the interview
Location: New York, USA

- What you think about Feliks Zemdegs records and his technique?
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 but I heard that he is "color neutral" meaning that he can start solving with any color of the first layer without impeding his speed. This by itself is amazing as I do not know anyone else who is color neutral. This, undoubtedly, buys him time right in the beginning.

- Do you think that there is now someone who can beat the Feliks' records ? Taking into account that top cubers rarely a time sub-6 and almost always when they are lucky.
There is apparently no one today who can come even close, at least it seems so. But in the past ten years, we have had this feeling many times -- when someone suddenly dominated and seemed invincible. Even though it does not seem possible that there might ever be anyone faster than Feliks, I alibistically refrain from making this claim! :)

- Have you seen anyone so many times beat their own world records or come close to do it?
Nope. This only underlies his dominance and exceptional skills.

And what do you think about the time limit for speedcubing today? It's really close to the edge of the humanly possible ?
I am being much more careful now with predictions of the limits. In 1997, I thought it would be 13 on average. This is laughable, I know, but at that time, an average of 13 sec. seemed as unachievable as traveling to Mars. The absolute limit? OK, take the average number of moves you need to solve the cube, which is about 19 or so.

If there was an individual who could "see" the shortest algorithm or close to the shortest, and was able to carry it out at 10 moves per second, you get the limit of about 2-3 seconds. Of course, this seems ridiculous today but who knows in 10, 20, ..., 50 years ... or maybe only in five. I mean we are all constantly being stunned by what some folks can do ...

- Do you think that may arise most efficient methods for Speedcubing than Fridrich (CFOP)?
Well, records changed around us, so did the cubers and the technique of turning the cube faces but this method seems to stick around. It is a far cry from what I have on my web site as the modern-era cubers replaced the algorithms optimized for a different style of twisting but it is the same house nevertheless with a very different furniture inside. Is it going to slowly morph into a different approach? Is it going to be replaced with something completely different? Only the future will show.

By: Sillas Tsutsui da Silva.
 
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GenTheThief

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Is that just me or does that sentence make no sense?
The grammering is bad though.
- Do you think that there is now someone who can beat the Feliks' records ? Taking into account that top cubers rarely a time sub-6 and almost always when they are lucky.
I would re-write it as such:
Do you think that someone will be able to beat Feliks' records, taking into account that top cubers rarely get sub-6 solves which almost exclusively have at least one skip?

"Full step" solves used to be called "non-lucky" a few years ago. If you look around on the older parts of the forum or in people's signatures, I'm sure you'll see the term.

But looking at the names, it's very possible that the interviewer's first language wasn't English.
E: confirmed by pjk
 
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