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Hi everyone,

At the World Championships I had several people ask me about my corner method when they saw me BLD cubing. I use commutator freestyle cycling to solve the position and orientation of 2 pieces at a time. Unlike Turbo though I try to ban setup turns as much as I possibly can. Of course this is not completely possible, but my worst cases require 2 setup turns only, and almost all cases that require a setup turn can be done in 1 setup turn. Often I don't need any setup turns.

Ok here are the algorithms I use, and what I call them. If you notice these are pretty much the exact same algorithms as I use in big cube BLD. Also you'll notice that the names *are* the exact same names that Daniel Beyer and I use for the similar cycle on the bigger cubes BLD for centers.

I try to treat the corners of the 3x3x3 like the X-centers on the 5x5x5 cube. This doesn't work exactly the same way, but it's close enough for most of the cases.

My buffer is UBL (the U sticker of the UBL corner) and do cycles all over the cube, from all angles. Just like Pochmann and Turbo you need to sometimes break into other cycles, etc..

Here are some of the algs I use, and their names. In the notation I am using, a turn done in brackets means that you can replace it with any other turn of the same layer. The second turn in brackets *must* be the inverse turn of the first turn in brackets. You'll see what I mean after the first example.

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

Easy no-setup-moves cases

"Toss-up" : R U2 R' [D] R U2 R' [D']

again the brackets mean that I can also do: R U2 R' D' R U2 R' D; or R U2 R' D2 R U2 R' D2. These algs are all 3 "toss-up" cases.

"Drop-and-catch" : R' D R U R' D' R U'

You can also use R' D2 R U R' D2 R U'; R' D R U2 R' D' R U2; R' D2 R U2 R' D2 R U2; etc.

"Direct-Insert" : R' D' R R' D R [U']

"Caltech-move" (I don't know who deserves full credit for this move, so I call it Caltech-move because I learned it from the Caltech crew) : (R F' R' F)*3 U2 (R F' R' F)*3 U2

"Pure 3-cycle" (this is the pure form of the standard Fridrich 3-corner cycle) :

B2 R F R' B2 R F' R'

This move should be able to be done from all angles and on all sides. As an example I would do F2 L' B' L F2 L' B L; L2 F' R' F L2 F' R F; etc.

"Ferris-Wheel" : D' R' U R D' R' U' R D2

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

medium 1-setup-move-cases

The case name is the name of the case from the above group that you can setup into.

"Toss-up" cases:

1) F' R U2 R' D2 R U2 R' D2 F

"Drop-and-catch" cases:

1) R R D' R' U R D R' U' R' combines to R2 D' R' U R D R' U' R'

This can also be considered a "toss-up" case if you view the first setup move as R2. So again you have some freedom here to setup into different cases if you prefer one over the other.

2) F' L' D L U L' D' L U' F

3) R' U2 F D' F' U2 F D F' R

4) etc..

Ferris wheel cases:

1) F' D' R' U R D' R' U' R D2 F

Pure 3-cycle cases:

1) U' B2 R F R' B2 R F' R' U

Direct-Insert Cases:

1) F2 L' D' L U L' D L U' F2

hard 1 move setup cases:

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

Change of viewpoint case 1:

UBL->BUR->RDB

At first this cycle looks very difficult to use setup moves. But if you change your view point to be BLU->URB->DBR suddenly this is an easy Caltech move case.

1) L U2 (R' B R B')*3 U2 (R' B R B')*3 L'

Change of viewpoint case 2:

UBL->BUR->RUF

Again this looks like a hard case where you need 2 setup moves. But actually you just need to change your viewpoint to be BLU->URB->UFR in which case it's just 1 setup turn and a 3 cycle.

1) L' B2 R' F' R B2 R' F R L

2 setup move cases:

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

UBL->RBU->BRD

1) R' F R2 B L B' R2 B L' B' F' R

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

EXAMPLE SOLVE

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

I've already provided a couple example solves of this approach, I think one on this forum and one on the blindfold solving forum. But for clarity here is one more. Scramble the cube in the orientation where you would normally blindfold solve.

F B' L2 U F2 R2 F2 L' F2 D2 L2 F2 U2 R' U' R2 B2 R U2 B2 L' D2 U2 B L

Again my buffer is UBL

1) UBL->FUL->DFL

1 setup move into a "Drop-and-catch"

F2 U2 L' D2 L U2 L' D2 L F2

2) UBL->LBD->DBR

1 setup move into a "Drop-and-catch"

R2 F D2 F' U2 F D2 F' U2 R2

3) Here we have to break into another cycle. I would do

UBL->URB->RFD "Drop-and-Catch"

B D2 B' U' B D2 B' U

4) UBL->UFR->RBU

1 setup move into a "drop-and-catch"

F F L2 F' R2 F L2 F' R2 F' which combines to F2 L2 F' R2 F L2 F' R2 F'

This is a drop and catch on the R face. Again you need to be able to do these on other faces as well as the U face.

Corners are solved.

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

Advantages to this method:

Solving is incredibly quick. Racing Stefan Pochmann and Joey Gouly with sighted BLD method solves at RWC2007 I got a 15 second solve, and lots of ones around 20-25 seconds. I think a super-fast solve might be about 10-15 seconds and a super slow solve might take 30-40 seconds to give an idea of a range for this method for solving corners.

Move count is very low, so you're less likely to mess up assuming you can correctly "see" which cycle you have, which like big cube BLD just takes practice. For the solve above it took 37 moves to solve corners counting move cancelations (which I actually do perform).

Because all algs are commutators you can use this method on big cubes for BLD, which because of the low turn count is extraordinarily fast. This is actually why I started with this method, but eventually it got to be fast enough that I was overtaking my 3x3x3 BLD times using it rather than orient first and permute.

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

Disadvantages to this method:

Sometimes I find it hard to memorize very quickly, especially if you have a lot of corners that are correctly permuted, but twisted. Also having a lot of 2 cycles can slow me down too. I memorize with images so perhaps this is just a fault of memorizing with images rather than visually. I can memorize the entire cube with images using about 40-45 seconds at my very fastest and 1:10-1:20 at my very slowest to give an idea of the range.

When just getting started it is sometimes hard to tell which corner cycle you have, but the more you practice the easier this gets. Also if you practice big cube BLD you get pretty much the exact same cycles on 5x5 BLD for X-centers, at least for the most part. It is not a perfect match, but X-centers on 5x5 is excellent practice for 3x3 corners.

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

Ok that's about it. I'm not saying this method is better than other methods that are out there, I just think it is a different way to approach it. And because I know people don't like methods unless they are proven in competition I used this method for corners, and a similar one for edges, at RWC2007 and came in 5th place for 3x3 BLD. My fastest competition solve using this method, and the similar one for edges, was 1:49.84. If I could only improve my memorization of this method I think I could get faster. My personal record with this method at home is 1:19.xx

If you have any questions about particular cycles or setup moves, just post here and I'll tell you what I do.

Also I noticed that Stefan using M2 was always faster than my method with commutator 3 cycles for edges. I'm going to try to practice my commutators and see if I can improve my speed. If not I will most likely switch to M2 for edges, or maybe Turbo. But for corners I like my method ;-)

Chris

At the World Championships I had several people ask me about my corner method when they saw me BLD cubing. I use commutator freestyle cycling to solve the position and orientation of 2 pieces at a time. Unlike Turbo though I try to ban setup turns as much as I possibly can. Of course this is not completely possible, but my worst cases require 2 setup turns only, and almost all cases that require a setup turn can be done in 1 setup turn. Often I don't need any setup turns.

Ok here are the algorithms I use, and what I call them. If you notice these are pretty much the exact same algorithms as I use in big cube BLD. Also you'll notice that the names *are* the exact same names that Daniel Beyer and I use for the similar cycle on the bigger cubes BLD for centers.

I try to treat the corners of the 3x3x3 like the X-centers on the 5x5x5 cube. This doesn't work exactly the same way, but it's close enough for most of the cases.

My buffer is UBL (the U sticker of the UBL corner) and do cycles all over the cube, from all angles. Just like Pochmann and Turbo you need to sometimes break into other cycles, etc..

Here are some of the algs I use, and their names. In the notation I am using, a turn done in brackets means that you can replace it with any other turn of the same layer. The second turn in brackets *must* be the inverse turn of the first turn in brackets. You'll see what I mean after the first example.

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

Easy no-setup-moves cases

"Toss-up" : R U2 R' [D] R U2 R' [D']

again the brackets mean that I can also do: R U2 R' D' R U2 R' D; or R U2 R' D2 R U2 R' D2. These algs are all 3 "toss-up" cases.

"Drop-and-catch" : R' D R U R' D' R U'

You can also use R' D2 R U R' D2 R U'; R' D R U2 R' D' R U2; R' D2 R U2 R' D2 R U2; etc.

"Direct-Insert" : R' D' R R' D R [U']

"Caltech-move" (I don't know who deserves full credit for this move, so I call it Caltech-move because I learned it from the Caltech crew) : (R F' R' F)*3 U2 (R F' R' F)*3 U2

"Pure 3-cycle" (this is the pure form of the standard Fridrich 3-corner cycle) :

B2 R F R' B2 R F' R'

This move should be able to be done from all angles and on all sides. As an example I would do F2 L' B' L F2 L' B L; L2 F' R' F L2 F' R F; etc.

"Ferris-Wheel" : D' R' U R D' R' U' R D2

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

medium 1-setup-move-cases

The case name is the name of the case from the above group that you can setup into.

"Toss-up" cases:

1) F' R U2 R' D2 R U2 R' D2 F

"Drop-and-catch" cases:

1) R R D' R' U R D R' U' R' combines to R2 D' R' U R D R' U' R'

This can also be considered a "toss-up" case if you view the first setup move as R2. So again you have some freedom here to setup into different cases if you prefer one over the other.

2) F' L' D L U L' D' L U' F

3) R' U2 F D' F' U2 F D F' R

4) etc..

Ferris wheel cases:

1) F' D' R' U R D' R' U' R D2 F

Pure 3-cycle cases:

1) U' B2 R F R' B2 R F' R' U

Direct-Insert Cases:

1) F2 L' D' L U L' D L U' F2

hard 1 move setup cases:

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

Change of viewpoint case 1:

UBL->BUR->RDB

At first this cycle looks very difficult to use setup moves. But if you change your view point to be BLU->URB->DBR suddenly this is an easy Caltech move case.

1) L U2 (R' B R B')*3 U2 (R' B R B')*3 L'

Change of viewpoint case 2:

UBL->BUR->RUF

Again this looks like a hard case where you need 2 setup moves. But actually you just need to change your viewpoint to be BLU->URB->UFR in which case it's just 1 setup turn and a 3 cycle.

1) L' B2 R' F' R B2 R' F R L

2 setup move cases:

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

UBL->RBU->BRD

1) R' F R2 B L B' R2 B L' B' F' R

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

EXAMPLE SOLVE

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

I've already provided a couple example solves of this approach, I think one on this forum and one on the blindfold solving forum. But for clarity here is one more. Scramble the cube in the orientation where you would normally blindfold solve.

F B' L2 U F2 R2 F2 L' F2 D2 L2 F2 U2 R' U' R2 B2 R U2 B2 L' D2 U2 B L

Again my buffer is UBL

1) UBL->FUL->DFL

1 setup move into a "Drop-and-catch"

F2 U2 L' D2 L U2 L' D2 L F2

2) UBL->LBD->DBR

1 setup move into a "Drop-and-catch"

R2 F D2 F' U2 F D2 F' U2 R2

3) Here we have to break into another cycle. I would do

UBL->URB->RFD "Drop-and-Catch"

B D2 B' U' B D2 B' U

4) UBL->UFR->RBU

1 setup move into a "drop-and-catch"

F F L2 F' R2 F L2 F' R2 F' which combines to F2 L2 F' R2 F L2 F' R2 F'

This is a drop and catch on the R face. Again you need to be able to do these on other faces as well as the U face.

Corners are solved.

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

Advantages to this method:

Solving is incredibly quick. Racing Stefan Pochmann and Joey Gouly with sighted BLD method solves at RWC2007 I got a 15 second solve, and lots of ones around 20-25 seconds. I think a super-fast solve might be about 10-15 seconds and a super slow solve might take 30-40 seconds to give an idea of a range for this method for solving corners.

Move count is very low, so you're less likely to mess up assuming you can correctly "see" which cycle you have, which like big cube BLD just takes practice. For the solve above it took 37 moves to solve corners counting move cancelations (which I actually do perform).

Because all algs are commutators you can use this method on big cubes for BLD, which because of the low turn count is extraordinarily fast. This is actually why I started with this method, but eventually it got to be fast enough that I was overtaking my 3x3x3 BLD times using it rather than orient first and permute.

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

Disadvantages to this method:

Sometimes I find it hard to memorize very quickly, especially if you have a lot of corners that are correctly permuted, but twisted. Also having a lot of 2 cycles can slow me down too. I memorize with images so perhaps this is just a fault of memorizing with images rather than visually. I can memorize the entire cube with images using about 40-45 seconds at my very fastest and 1:10-1:20 at my very slowest to give an idea of the range.

When just getting started it is sometimes hard to tell which corner cycle you have, but the more you practice the easier this gets. Also if you practice big cube BLD you get pretty much the exact same cycles on 5x5 BLD for X-centers, at least for the most part. It is not a perfect match, but X-centers on 5x5 is excellent practice for 3x3 corners.

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

Ok that's about it. I'm not saying this method is better than other methods that are out there, I just think it is a different way to approach it. And because I know people don't like methods unless they are proven in competition I used this method for corners, and a similar one for edges, at RWC2007 and came in 5th place for 3x3 BLD. My fastest competition solve using this method, and the similar one for edges, was 1:49.84. If I could only improve my memorization of this method I think I could get faster. My personal record with this method at home is 1:19.xx

If you have any questions about particular cycles or setup moves, just post here and I'll tell you what I do.

Also I noticed that Stefan using M2 was always faster than my method with commutator 3 cycles for edges. I'm going to try to practice my commutators and see if I can improve my speed. If not I will most likely switch to M2 for edges, or maybe Turbo. But for corners I like my method ;-)

Chris