GSW student to host Rubik's Cube competition Saturday

Joshua Cherian holding a Rubik’s Cube. / GSW

The Rubik’s Cube was invented in Hungary in 1974. On January 7, 2017, the first Rubik’s Cube tournament in Americus will be held on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW). Americus native and GSW junior, Joshua Cherian, is a “Cube” enthusiast. He has organized the competition set for Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Success Center Conference Rooms.

“I started looking up competitions and I found the World Cube Association, which is the governing body for anything ‘speed cube’ related,” he said. “I talked with the people there and expressed my interest in having a competition in Americus.”

With the help of Josh Curtin, GSW director of Campus Life, Cherian’s vision became a reality.

Cherian, who was homeschooled with his family in Americus, picked up “cubing” at the age of 10. He was able to complete two sides and was eager to continue practicing.

He researched YouTube for instructional videos and began timing himself, stalling out at 40 seconds, which to many, is a huge feat. His persistence paid off, and he is now able to complete the Cube in under 20 seconds.

This weekend, 60 Rubik’s Cube enthusiasts (140 if you count family and friends) hailing from Florida, South Carolina and Georgia will meet at GSW and battle it out in heats for prizes sponsored by the gaming website, TheCubicle.us.

“It’s a big, vibrant community,” Cherian said. “Georgia has a pretty strong ‘speed cubing’ contingent compared to a lot of other nearby states. There are competitors who average under 10 seconds, easily.”

The world record holder, Feliks Zemdegs of Australia, can complete the Cube in 4.73 seconds. A delegate from the World Cube Association will be on hand in the event that one of the participant’s has a record breaking score. Fellow competitors will assist in scrambling the Cube and judging.

Cubers in this tournament range from 10 years old to adulthood. They will vie for titles in the traditional 3x3 event, as well as the 2x2, 4x4 and other events. They will get five solves, and their slowest and fastest scores will be dropped. Their final score will be an average of the three remaining scores.

Cherian is a pre-engineering major who is participating in the dual-degree program with Georgia Tech. Prior to his status as a full-time student at GSW, he participated what is now known as Move On When Ready, or dual enrollment.

It’s unusual for a competition of this nature to be held in rural Georgia, and who knows, a new world record could be set.

“It’s possible,” Cherian said. “Nothing is impossible at this point.”

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