5.53 Reconstructions and Commentary

1 year ago

Competitions and Travel

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to set a new 3x3 average WR, and as per previous occasions, I've put together a bit of a write up about the solves and the competition. Looks like this is turning into a bit of a tradition now, may it continue for a little while longer!

For some context (obvious disclaimer, I'm sponsored by Gan), I was yet to use the Gan XS in competition until yesterday. I've had them for almost a couple of months now and have really enjoyed using the cubes at home in practice, but was always concerned that they would become too loose or uncontrollable in official competition, particularly when nerves are at play. These days, I find that 3x3 hardware is so precise and fine-tuned that switching main cubes is actually quite a long process, it takes weeks for me to get used to a slight change in feeling of a new cube. Initially I felt the same that I did about the 356 X - that it was slightly too fast and light, however the more I used it, the more comfortable and confident I became with the cube, to the point where I was happy to go ahead and use it at yesterday's competition. The game plan was to see how things went in the first round with the cube and then make any adjustments if necessary. If I completely butchered my solves then I would switch back to my X. Given my recent competition averages, I didn't think there was much downside at all. I started out the first round with a 5, 5+2, and a 6.2, which basically filled me with confidence in the hardware for the rest of the day, it was a pretty large shift in mindset - new hardware sometimes does this. I had almost the exact same experience almost a year ago, when I switched from the SM to the X at the Rijswijk Open, where I posted a 5.91 average in the finals. Hoping that this new cube confidence boost continues into upcoming competitions.

Big thanks again to Stewy on Reddit for these reconstructions!

(And for the record, the push after the average was quite lighthearted and with a guy with whom I have good rapport, I don't just push random little kids lol)



Scramble 1: R2 F' U2 L D' L' D' R D2 U2 F2 L' D2 L' D' B' U'

This scramble was pretty boring, I missed the slightly easier 4 move blue cross - the yellow cross I did was fine but I couldn't really see into much of the F2L - the only pair I saw was orange/green, which were in slightly annoying places. Of course, the front two pairs were set up pretty nicely after the cross but that wasn't what I'd planned in inspection.

Inspection: y

Cross: R2' F D F D2

This first pair solution was completely intentional - I didn't really want to risk doing something like U' F' L U L' F in the first solve of a final, and so kept things 2 gen with a rotation, as well as solved the pair into the back as I really had no idea where the other F2L pieces would end up after the cross. Not very efficient, but safe, and would give me a good look at all of the empty F2L slots to hopefully see the remainder of the F2L pieces.

1st pair: R U' R' y R U' R' U R' U' R

Pretty standard second pair, which leaves the front two slots open.

2nd pair: y' U' L' U L R' U R

Third and fourth pairs can be solved pretty nicely without a rotation if we insert the FL pair using F U F'

3rd pair: R U' R' F U F'

4th pair: U' R U R'

Really should have done OLLCP here, which would have given me an anticlockwise U permutation (F R' F R2 U' R' U' R U R' F2), but with the U2 AUF before execution, I didn't take the time to recognise the CP of the two oriented corners.

OLL: U' U' F U R U2 R' U' R U2 R' U' F'

PLL: U R U R' F' R U2' R' U2' R' F R U R U2' R' U

7.16 seconds, 64 moves (ETM), 8.94 ETPS


Scramble 2: D' L D' U2 R2 U' B L U2 B2 R U R2 F2 D' U2 B'

Blue cross solution for this solve is intended to keep the yellow/red and yellow/orange F2L pairs in the top layer. It's fairly straightforward to execute the first pair and track the second pair whilst doing so - the main thing I was focusing on was to avoid any pauses between pair 2 and the yet-to-be-discovered third pair.

Inspection: x y2

Cross: U' R2 D R' D2

1st pair: R U' U' R' U L U L'

2nd pair: U' R' U2 R d' R U R'

After this, I can see that the red-white pair is connected and ready to insert. This can either be done with U2 L U' L' or U' L U2 L'. The latter does not require a regrip, so that's what I did here.

3rd pair: U' L U2 L'

I have no idea why I did the last pair with two rotations like I did, I think it was a combination of trying to avoid the LU solution, and also my instinct was at that point, doing the standard U' L' U' L U L' U' L would give an L OLL case, which are generally annoying to recognise and the algorithms aren't great. 

4th pair: y' U R U' R' y' R' U' R

This is a very familiar last layer solution (think 4.73), unfortunately the U perm was 1.2 seconds, would have been super cool to have three sub 5s in a single average, but that will have to wait!

OLL: F R U' R' U' R U R' F'

PLL: R U' R U R U R U' R' U' R2 U'

5.04 seconds, 55 moves (ETM), 10.91 ETPS


Scramble 3: U' R2 B U' L' F' R D2 U L' F2 D2 R' F' D B' D' U'

As you can probably see in the video, I struggled for quite a while to figure out exactly what to do with this rather easy scramble - there was a lot that could be used, but luckily I ended up seeing and planning a really nice red X-cross whilst preserving another F2L pair. If I didn't see that at the last minute, I probably would have panicked and the solve likely would have ended up as an 8 or something.

Inspection: z' x'

The X-cross is a fairly straightforward keyhole solution - inserting the yellow/green edge and also preserving the green/white pair. There's a lot that can be done with this scramble, including a 5 move X-cross on white which I didn't even see.

X-Cross: L' U' r' l U' l' R' U' R D

At this point, because I'd planned the white/green pair in inspection, my instant reaction is to then insert it - however after solving the X-cross, the blue/yellow pair also appears right in front of me, so I undo my U' move and insert it with a sledgehammer to preserve the third pair.

2nd pair: y' U' U L F' L' F

Third pair is what we saw before.

3rd pair: U' R' U R

This is a nice little OLS case, essentially just two sledgehammers with a U' in between - it's very easy to recognise - there are three bars of LL stickers around the U layer.

OLS: U R' F R F' U' R' F R F'

U perm was a bit nicer after the practice on the previous solve.

PLL: R U' R U R U R U' R' U' R2

So this was slightly lower TPS, lower movecount than the other solves due to the processing required for the 2nd and 3rd F2L pairs, as well as recognition of the OLS case.

4.67 seconds, 42 moves (ETM), 8.99 ETPS


Scramble 4: L B2 U2 B' R' D2 R' B L B F' U2 L D R2 B R

Not many obvious cross choices here - the best I could come up with was to solve the orange whilst setting up a 3 move case to be inserted into the BL slot.

Inspection: x z'

Cross: U' R' F D2 R' U R' D'

1st pair: L U L'

The nice thing about this F2L was that it was rotationless and the lookahead was pretty easy, especially after inserting the second pair into the BL slot.

2nd pair: U' R U' R' U' R' U' R

Intentionally chose the FL pair rather than the FR pair at this point, as doing U' R U R' U2 R U R' creates a terrible last slot case.

3rd pair: U' R U' R' U L' U' L

4th pair: U R U R' U' R U R'

LL was pretty straightforward, I'm not a huge fan of this OLL case and may look to just start doing FURURF into ZBLL in the future, it could be slightly faster on average. I generally try and preserve any blocks, and here I know that doing the alg below will push that blue corner/edge block to the front, which makes PLL recognition a tad easier.

OLL: U' l' U' L U' L' U L U' L' U U l

PLL was meh, small lockups but nothing too disastrous.

PLL: R2 U R' U R' U' R U' R2 (D U') R' U R D'

6.55 seconds, 63 moves (ETM), 9.62 ETPS


Scramble 5: U' R F U2 F' U2 F2 D' R D' L2 R' F D B2 L' B R' U2

At this point, I wasn't particularly nervous - I thought I'd slightly ruined my chances of WR on the 4th solve, but was still pretty excited about a potential sub 6 average - so my mindset was a bit more positive, rather than trying to protect against a WR fail. This is the point where an epic scramble comes along, always useful in this sort of situation :p

Cross and first 2 pairs are incredibly easy - only 11 moves.

Inspection: x

Cross: U' R U2 R (U' D)

1st and 2nd pairR' U R2 U' R'

At this point, we actually have 3/4 of a red F2L solved, which is outrageous! (And actually, doing x' z U2 R U2' R' U R U R' gives Lucas Etter OLL into no AUF PLL skip lol)

However, I'd planned the first 3 pairs in inspection, and given how easy the start was, my mindset was to just keep going as quickly and mindlessly as possible - I knew that I'd be able to find the last F2L pair pretty easily, and that with a standard finish to the solve, it should be a 5 without any mistakes, and faster with easy cases. If I hadn't planned the third pair, there's a small chance I may have actually switched to red.

3rd pair: y' R U' R' U' R U R' U2 R U' R'

At this point, it would have been possible to orient the LL edges by doing something like U' L F' L' F L' U L, but I know my limitations, and those moves aren't really something I'm willing or able to execute in a competition setting, so I rotated and finished the F2L with RUF - getting a nice VLS case after connecting the pair.

4th pair setup: y' U R' F R F'

VLS: U R U' (R' R) U' R' F R U R' U' F'

Not sure how I executed the A perm (and the double axis regrip) this quickly, but I'm glad I did!

PLL: y' x' R U' R D2 R' U R D2 R2'

4.99 seconds, 53 moves (ETM), 10.62 ETPS

Thoughts on this blog

Notify me of updates
Master Jamin Hendricks

Master Jamin Hendricks Posted 1 year ago

Great job Feliks. I believe you will get the first official sub-3 second solve. Keep it up, I believe in you.

Noah Marsh

Noah Marsh Posted 1 year ago

Wow! That's impressive!

Sofia Nguyen

Sofia Nguyen Posted 1 year ago

Oh Stewy! Want this guy to reconstruct your every official solve. Learn a lot by just following the recons. A lil bit of deja vu when I saw the big red block. Switching cross in the middle of a solve is worth trying. Maybe next time! ;)

Mats Valk

Mats Valk Posted 1 year ago


Ruimin Yan

Ruimin Yan Posted 1 year ago

5th scramble:  

PLL skip solve (change cross during solve, 32 ETM):

x // inspection

U' R U2 R U'D // cross

R' U R2 U' R' // 1st pair + 2nd pair + 3rd pair

z y U2 R U2' R' U R U R' // 4th pair


r U r' R U R' U' r U' r'// OLL(CP)

Noah Marsh

Noah Marsh Posted 1 year ago

Ruimin, that's a very clever solution, but I don't think many cubers would switch their cross color in the middle of F2L.

Master Jamin Hendricks

Master Jamin Hendricks Posted 1 year ago

He explained why he didn't do this in this video


Check it out.

Alexander Tolstov

Alexander Tolstov Posted 1 year ago

Good job! More and more reconstructions, this way I will train)

Tan E-Jie

Tan E-Jie Posted 1 year ago

Hi Feliks,

Just an interesting hypothetical question I thought up:

Would you rather have no 3x3 and its variants in WCA (OH, 3BLD, FMC, Feet, MultiBLD) or ONLY have these events in WCA?

Tan E-Jie

Tan E-Jie Posted 1 year ago

For the rest of you, feel free to answer as well :)


Đoàn Dương Tuấn Anh

Đoàn Dương Tuấn Anh Posted 1 year ago

Congrats for your WR 5.53 avg. I hope that you can do even better in the future. Good luck!

Jamie A

Jamie A Posted 1 year ago

nice feliks

Ryan Kim

Ryan Kim Posted 1 year ago

Feliks’s says “I don’t push random little kids, “and the he pushes a random little kid

Justin Cheung

Justin Cheung Posted 1 year ago

When doing R' U L' U2 R U' L R' U L' U2 R U' L  in 4LLL it  does not work i tried many times and it wont work if you can syay if im doing something wrong please tell me

Justin Cheung

Justin Cheung Posted 1 year ago


Shuichi Madina

Shuichi Madina Posted 1 year ago

How the hell do you do your PLLs so quick? My BEST U perm was 1.2 secs!

Tanishq SHARMA

Tanishq SHARMA Posted 1 year ago

When are you getting a sub-5 average . 

Zihan Jin

Zihan Jin Posted 1 year ago

My best u perm was 0.8 and that was just doing it and not having a PLL recognition time. (Felik’s is great but even so he can’t know what PLL he”s going to get without thinking about it or looking at it)

Aiden L.

Aiden L. Posted 1 year ago

Really liked your third solve

Aarnav Katru

Aarnav Katru Posted 1 year ago


R' U L' U2 R U' L R' U L' U2 R U' L does work. It does Nb permutation. Which is diagonal corner swap (and opposite edge swap).

I think you are making an execution mistake.

Ryan He

Ryan He Posted 9 months ago

congrats feliks!!!

bob bill

bob bill Posted 9 months ago

Can someone with premium ask feliks if he gets the little world record plaque when he breaks a world record

Jamie A

Jamie A Posted 9 months ago

what you mean the guinness one?

Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 9 months ago

Haha a plaque? I do not get something like that.

bob bill

bob bill Posted 9 months ago


It would be cool you could dedicate a whole wall of those world record plaques

bob bill

bob bill Posted 9 months ago

bob bill

bob bill Posted 9 months ago


SupperSS Posted 9 months ago

I don't know why Feliks didn't get a plaque or something.


SupperSS Posted 9 months ago

Because normally people who break world records get plaques


SupperSS Posted 9 months ago

Anyway, Congratulations Feliks!

A SpeedCuber

A SpeedCuber Posted 9 months ago

Feliks, I know you don't typically respond to these comments. However, I am having trouble staying motivated to keep cubing, even after taking breaks. Do you have any advice for this? I guess I have Cubers' Block :P


Also, I think you should def get a plaque

bob bill

bob bill Posted 9 months ago

Feliks should go for one of those wacky world records and get a plaque. go for most cubes solved in one hour or something


SupperSS Posted 9 months ago

Ya that would be cool

Jamie A

Jamie A Posted 9 months ago

thats a shame feliks ):


Akash Sreedharan

Akash Sreedharan Posted 8 months ago

Hi Feliks,

A question about your last solve; what plls do you pre-AUF, execute and AUF for, and what PLLs do you rotate instead? I personally rotate for A perms and E perms and auf for the others

Tyler Lim

Tyler Lim Posted 4 months ago

Good job on ur world record!!!

Aliya idk my last name

Aliya idk my last name Posted 4 months ago

Congrats Feliks!

(Wonder when your gonna break another ;p

Amaan Patel

Amaan Patel Posted 4 months ago

One question ,do you have to learn the case name (eg.Jb ,T1-33)for algorithms.



bob bill

bob bill Posted 4 months ago

I don't but I guess it couldn't hurt

Amaan Patel

Amaan Patel Posted 4 months ago


Amaan Patel

Amaan Patel Posted 4 months ago

Also I just solved a 5x5 for the first time

thanks to cubeskills I have solved a:


4x4 rubik’s cube

5x5 Rubik’s cube 

and a 

2x2 mega minx (I know that’s not on cubeskills but I was able to do it with no help as I knew how to solve a 3x3 mega minx )

Eli Carr

Eli Carr Posted 3 months ago

Have you got any tips on what cube to get? (brand, size, type, etc)


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