The World Championship in Rubik's Cube
Toronto, August 23-24, 2003


After the first World Championship in Rubik's Cube in 1982, rumors started that the next one will take place the following year, most likely in Los Angeles. If someone told me then that I would have to wait 21 years for the next one, I would dismiss this nonsense immediately. The Internet together with the new generation of enthusiatic cubers are likely the two main reasons why now and not 10 years ago and why at this scale. At this point, I would like to thank the chief organizor Dan Gosbee from Toronto who put the championship together virtually by himself. Dan was responsive to the feedback he was getting from the cubers both before the event and during the competition. As a result, this competition had a lot more cubing and cubers participation than the first chanpionship and it felt like one friendly gettogether of like-minded people. Last, but not least by far, I would like to acknowledge the key role of sponsors of this event: Patrick Hess from Hessport, Dave Jones from Seven Towns and Dave Charbonneau from Kroeger Inc.

Venue and rules

The competition itself took place in the Ontario Science Center in Toronto. The contestants stayed in the nearby hotel Crowne Plaza for a very reasonable rate of $99CAD per night. The championship started on Saturday morning in one large room with four huge cube-stands with timers and displays showing the time. The organizers used the Speedstacking timer. Each solving attempt proceeded in the following way. At each stand there was one member of the judging team assisting with the solve - the "stand judge". The scrambling committee scrambled the cube (each contestant had the same scramble) and the cube was put on the timing pad and covered by the stand judge. Then, the judge uncovered the cube and the contestant could pick up the cube and inspect it for 15 seconds. After that, the cube was placed back on the pad and covered again. Then, the contestant put his/her hands on the two yellow spots on the pad. This set the timer to zero. The stand judge then counted "three, two, one, go" and the contestant lifted the hands from the two yellow spots, which started the timer, picked up the cube and started solving it. When finished, the cube was put back on the pad and the time stopped after putting both hands back on the two yellow spots. The time was always indpendently measured by the stand judge just in case the timing pad failed. In fact, this happened several times (to Dan Knights and David Allen in the qualifications) when the time did not stop when it should have most likely because the contenstants did not put back their hands accurately on the yellow spots.

The 3x3x3 event started on Saturday. All competitors solved the cube three times and the 32 competitors with the best average of three proceeded to the next round. Approximately 35 constants had to finish the qualifying round on Sunday due to delays on Saturday. All 32 contestants then solved the cube three times in the second round. The fastest of the three was then used to choose the fastest 8 who proceeded to the finals. The final, third round consisted of 5 attempts, the worst and best times were eliminated and the middle three times were averaged to determine the winner. The results of the competition, including all other puzzles can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet.

If one of the cubies got "popped" during solving, the contestant could repeat the solve from the beginning once more. If that should happen once more, the contestant would have to push the cubies back and finish the solving.

The winner of the 3x3x3 competition received a nice big trophy, some memorabilia, and a check for $5000CAD. More details about the championship and other disciplines than the 3x3x3 speedsolving can be found at the official WC 2003 web site.

Picture Page 1

Picture Page 2

Picture Page 3

More pictures from the World Championship:

Ron's page
Andy's page
Frank Morris' page
Sandy Thompson (day 1)
Sandy Thompson (day 2)
Katsu's trasures
Jon's pages
Ton Dennenbroek
Ian Winokur
Dan Harris
Katsuyuki Konishi
Jess Bonde's Gallery
Lars Vandenbergh's page
Dan Gosbee's superb pictures
David Barr
Jason Hildebrand
Jasmine Lee
Chris Hardwick

Street interview with Dan Knights - the Rubik's cube champion, broadcasted on the Discovery Channel

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