Fewest Moves Challenge

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FMC redirects here. This page is about the WCA official event. For the online contest, see Fewest Moves Challenge (online contest).

Fewest Moves (or Fewest Moves Challenge, FMC) is an event where competitors attempt to solve a puzzle (almost always the 3x3x3) in as few moves as possible, starting from a given scramble. The usual turn metric is HTM.

There is one WCA-official Fewest Moves event: writing down the shortest possible solution to a 3x3x3 scramble, with a time limit of one hour. Other types of fewest move solving have been tried in the Fewest Moves Challenge, with the most popular other events being the Linear Fewest Moves event (solving the 3x3x3 with as few moves as possible, without being able to undo moves) and the event of writing down the shortest possible solution for the 3x3x3 with a time limit of one week.

The original Fewest Moves Challenge (FMC) was a challenge started by Dan Harris. It was the first online Fewest Moves competition and, although it is no longer run by Dan, it remains a good way to practice fewest moves solving. One scramble is given per event every week, and the results are typically up soon after the next round starts.


Although it is very likely that fewest moves solving was first experimented with in the 1980s, the event was popularized by Dan's Cube Station with its Fewest Moves Challenge (FMC), which began in April 2003 and was held nearly every week for many years. The event was also held at many competitions starting with the World Rubik's Games Championship 2003, and recently it has become even more popular due to the weekly competitions at the Speedsolving.com forum. Since 2009 this competition was taken over By Per K Fredlund on FMC Challenge. The popularity of FMC also later increased with the publishing of Arnaud van Galen's Fewest Moves: Tips and Techniques in 2007 and Sebastiano Tronto's Fewest Moves Tutorial in 2014. The latter is constantly being updated (with the latest version having been published in 2020) and so still continues to be the main source for learning FMC until today.


The first world record for the WCA event was set in 2003 and was 29 moves by Mirek Goljan. He improved this result to 28 moves in 2005, a record which stood for more than three years until it was broken by Guus Razoux Schultz, 27 moves in 2008. The record then was brought down to 22 moves by Jimmy Coll and István Kocza. After over 3 years, another record was set at the Czech Open 2012 with Tomoaki Okayama presenting a 20 move solution. Since then, the sub-21 barrier has been broken multiple times by various different people, though it took until October 2018 for the first 18 move solution by Chad Batten. In less than a year, that record had been brought down by two moves which resulted in the current world record of 16 moves by Sebastiano Tronto. That is the biggest jump in moves since 2009 and could at least partially be caused by the sudden growth in popularity of Domino Reduction in 2019.


Algorithms that may be used in FMC are at many pages in this wiki, se for example ELL, LLEF, L3C and L4C.

The BH method is a nice complement for the advanced FMC competitor, learning how to deal with optimal commutators helps a lot.

Fewest Moves techniques

Main Article : Fewest Moves techniques

The best results can be obtained when all techniques are controlled. It is strongly advised not to follow a strict pattern, for example a speedsolving method. However some algorithms learned from a speedsolving method will give some advantages in some cases. The most useful methods are Heise, Petrus, Fridrich, Roux and ZB.

See Also

External Links