World Rubik's Cube Championship 1982

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World Rubik's Cube
Championship 1982
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Date(s): 1982 June 5
Preceded by:
Succeeded by: WC2003

World Rubik's Cube Championship 1982 (usually called World Championship 1982, abbreviated to WC1982) was a speedcubing World Championship held in Budapest, Hungary on June 5, 1982. It was the first World Championship and the only one until WC2003. Since it took place before the creation of the WCA, it was retroactively declared an official competition.


The tournament was held in the Vigado Concert Hall in Budapest. It was sponsored by Politoys and Konsumex (the Hungarian manufacturers and distributors) together with Ideal Toys. The competition was organized by Brian Cartmell, the public relations firm for Ideal (UK), and it had the same basic structure as the 1981 UK national championship. The jury consisted of Ernő Rubik, David Singmaster, Georgina Tamás (Konsumex), Peter Peacock (Ideal UK), and Rainer Seitz (Arxon, the German division of Ideal). The 19 competitors were winners of their respective national championships.


The cubes were selected by Ernő Rubik from a special production run and competitors were given a sample to practice with. The order in the first round was determined by a draw. In the following rounds, the slowest contestants went first. The cubes had been randomly shuffled by computer and sealed in briefcases. There were three rounds and for each round a case was opened and placed by the stage entrance. Each contestant picked a cube out as he came on stage, and they were not allowed to watch the previous attempts. An extra cube was on standby in case a cube came apart (popped). In this event, the contestant got one extra trial. This happened seven times. Jari Sandqvist's cube popped twice in round two, so no time was recorded. Each contestant had fifteen seconds to examine the cube in his hand. It was then set down on a photoelectric base. The timing was then based on the time from picking up the cube to setting it down again.


WC1982 had only one event, a 3x3 speedsolve in a best-of-3 format. The final rankings were based on the best time a competitor achieved in any round. The prizes were three cubes plated in gold, silver and bronze, together with a number of Hungarian handicrafts. Minh Thai (USA) won with a best single time of 22.95 seconds, setting the world record, followed by Guus Razoux Schultz (Netherlands) and Zoltán Lábas (Hungary). Other notable competitors include Lars Petrus (Sweden), who finished 4th, and Jessica Fridrich (Czechoslovakia), who finished 10th.

Place Name Time Status Country Attempt 1 Attempt 2 Attempt 3
1 Minh Thai 22.95 WR USA 27.16 22.95 27.97
2 Guus Razoux Schultz 24.32 ER Netherlands 24.32 31.51 26.51
3 Zoltán Lábas 24.49 NR Hungary 24.49 27.58 28.21
4 Lars Petrus 24.57 NR Sweden 35.42 33.11 24.57
5 Kenichi Ueno 24.91 AsR Japan 27.56 27.90 24.91
6 Jérôme Jean-Charles 25.06 NR France 27.87 31.18 25.06
7 Julian Chilvers 25.95 NR United Kingdom 30.59 25.95 27.46
8 Duc Trinh 26.63 NR Canada 37.44 26.63 36.09
9 Giuseppe Romeo 28.11 NR Italy 34.23 41.75 28.11
10 Jessica Fridrich 29.11 NR Czechoslovakia 31.49 29.11 33.20
11 Eduardo Valdivia Chacón 29.62 SAR Peru 34.91 29.62 30.01
12 Luc van Laethem 29.73 NR Belgium 32.92 34.98 29.73
13 József Borsos 30.02 NR Yugoslavia 36.75 35.33 30.02
14 Ronald Brinkmann 30.59 NR West Germany 34.80 30.59 32.52
15 Jari Sandqvist 31.17 NR Finland 31.17 DNF* 31.56
16 Manuel Galrinho 37.11 NR Portugal 40.74 48.67 37.11
17 Piotr Serbeński 37.50 NR Poland 44.40 37.50 40.86
18 Svilen Tenev 47.29 NR Bulgaria 51.88 47.29 47.35
19 Josef Trajber 50.16 NR Austria 50.16 54.93 58.99

WR = World Record

ER = European Record

AsR = Asian Record

SAR = South American Record

NR = National Record


Although the tournament went well David Singmaster mentions some technical difficulties. At one stage the power for the TV and the display timer failed in the middle of a trial but since the timing computers were battery powered a valid time was obtained. One contestant started to solve the cube during the study time and was given an extra try. On another occasion the display timer wouldn't reset after the study time and there was some delay, so the contestant was allowed a new examination period.

Singmaster reports that competitors described the cubes as "pretty good". However, writing around 15 years later Jessica Fridrich criticised the cubes. Firstly the cubes used the Western Color Scheme which not all the cubers were familiar with. Secondly the competitors had to use brand new cubes which "were really hard to turn and were not prepared for serious speed cubing" this meant the cubes favoured those cubers with stronger hands and those who were using slower but more move-efficient methods.

Guus Razoux Schultz remarks that "the event got a lot of media attention. But we have to be fair: those young boys, me included, were only slaves of the Rubik's Revenge (4x4x4 cube) marketing machine. Only 19 national champions were allowed to compete. The Revenge didn't sell and no more WC's after that till 2003."[1]

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