5.97 Reconstructions + Commentary

6 years ago

Competitions and Travel

So, it's been a little while since I posted a blog (or anything else) on here. This is because in the last two months I was fortunate enough to travel and compete in seven countries for the Latin America Cubing Tour 2017, and then travel across to Europe for the London Open and the 2017 World Championships in Paris. I'll definitely write up a detailed blog about the LA Tour in the coming weeks, as well as resume content creation for the website!

I managed to get an official 5.97 average in the first round of the Colombian leg of the tour, so in the meantime I thought it would be a nice idea to go through the reconstructions of these solves and insert a bit of commentary. Big thanks to BrestCubing for the "official" reconstructions.


The first round of 3x3 at this competition took place on Saturday morning, just after the 6x6 and 7x7 rounds. I was in a pretty early group, and because there were almost 250 competitors, it was quite a busy morning.


Scramble 1: B' U2 R2 F' U2 L2 B' D' B' R2 B R' F2 L' B2 U2 B U'

This was quite a nice scramble for red – a fairly straightforward extended cross which preserved the blue-yellow F2L pair.

Inspection: x2 y

X-Cross: r' U' R2' F' U' F' D2'

2nd pair: U2 L' U L

It’s always nice to plan two pairs in inspection. After this, I inserted the back left pair, also noting that the F2L edge that belongs in the front-right slot was already oriented, so the F2L (and entire solve) turned out to be rotationless.

3rd pair: U' R U2' R' L U' L'

4th pair: U2' R U2' R' U R U' R'

The last layer was also quite standard, with no AUF required before the T permutation.

OLL: r U2 R' U' R U R' U' R U' r'

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

5.55 seconds, 51 moves (STM), 9.19 TPS


Scramble 2: L2 B2 L2 D2 L2 F' R' F2 D R' F2 R U' R' D' L' R

Okay, so the white F2L on this scramble was insanely easy. In fact, I was only 1 move away from an 8 move double extended cross. Luckily enough, the second and third F2L pairs in the solve made up for that mistake. 

Inspection: z2

X-Cross: F' U' R D r F r'

Notice that if we insert a single U move after the F' U' R, we get a double extended cross (and save a free pair!). Oh well, everyone makes mistakes. The second and third F2L pairs were done at the same time – not sure how I saw that and executed it in an official solve. I think what might have happened is that I tracked the green-red F2L pair during the X-cross, and as I was solving that pair, saw that I could insert the green-orange into the back right slot.

2nd and 3rd pairs: U' y' R' U2' R2 U' R2' U' R

The 4th pair was quite a straightforward case – just a simple rotation and insertion.

4th pair: y' R U2' R' U' R U R'

A few people wondered why I didn’t do OLLCP (L' U' L U L F' L' F) once I got to the last layer, which would have given me a U permutation instead of an N permutation. The main reason I didn’t do it was because I was able to predict the OLL case as I was solving my last pair, so I had the chance to eliminate any pause between F2L and OLL. Additionally, the above algorithm is a little bit awkward for me to execute, and under competition nerves, I’d be more likely to mess it up. I’m not sure whether the time spent pausing to recognise CP and executing the slower algorithm would have been saved by an easier PLL.

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

Finally, the PLL algorithm that is greater than God’s number. Don’t think about that for too long, it’s pretty distressing.

PLL: R U R' U R U R' F' R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U2 R U' R' U'

5.64 seconds, 54 moves (STM), 9.57 TPS


Scramble 3: U' B2 R2 U2 R2 U B' L' U L' F' R D L' B D' F2 U'

This scramble had a 4 move cross on red – fairly standard for colour neutral solvers. I planned the first pair (back-left slot) in inspection as the corner and edge don’t change position after executing the cross solution.

Inspection: z

Cross: R2 D R2' F'

1st pair: U' R' U R U' L U L'

The second pair that I solved was the blue-white pair, for no particular reason other than it was what I saw first. Perhaps the best pair to solve after cross + 1 would have been the front left pair (U' R U R' F U F'), as it leaves the two remaining F2L edges oriented, so the last two pairs could have been solved using just R and U moves.

2nd pair: U' L' U L y' U' L U L'

The third pair I solved was the pair which belonged in the front-right slot. I think both remaining F2L pairs were equally valid options, but it just happened that my lookahead/tracking meant that I saw the green-yellow pair first. At home, I probably would have tried to insert it using F U F', but after such a nice start to the average, I didn’t want to mess around with any even slightly risky fingertricks.

3rd pair: d' R U R' y' R U R'

After pairing up the last corner and edge of my F2L, I chose to do a U2 before inserting them in order to force a sune for OLL (and avoid the pi case). Pi is my least favourite OCLL.

4th pair: y U R U' R' U2 R U2' R'

Sune and T perm was a nice last layer combination to execute under pressure.

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

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

6.58 seconds, 61 moves (STM), 9.27 TPS


Scramble 4: B D2 B U2 R2 B' U2 F L' D' U R D L F2 L2 F2 L

In inspection I saw that the 6 move yellow cross would result in the pieces of the back two F2L pairs ending up in the top layer, and both of the edges were oriented. So, lookahead would be pretty easy, and it was just a matter of knowing that I wouldn’t need to rotate, and executing the cross and first two pairs as quickly as possible.

Inspection: x

Cross: r' U2 R2 D' R' D

1st pair: R' U' R U R' U2' R

2nd pair: U' L U L'

The last two pairs were quite simple, nothing fancy to see here. This was a pretty easy F2L

3rd pair: U' L' U L d R U R'

4th pair: U2 R' U' R

So, because I know a lot of T ZBLL cases, my instinct with this OLL case is to just orient my edges (with F R U R' U' F'), and hope that it pays off. In fact, in my 6.54 average and my 6.45 average records, I did the exact same thing – FRURUF to ZBLL. I guess it’s just a habit of mine, but I should probably stop doing it until I know full T ZBLL.

EO: F R U R' U' F'

As it happened, I got quite a nasty case for ZBLL, but it worked out okay in the end.

ZBLL: U R' U2' R U R' U R F U R U2' R' U R U R' F'

6.67 seconds, 55 moves (STM), 8.25 TPS


Scramble 5: D2 L2 U R2 U' B' D R B' F R2 D' U2 B2 R2 D L B2 L2

The cross for this solve was fairly standard – I again did it on red (because red = fast). I noticed that the blue-yellow F2L pair pieces would not move from their starting positions, so even though they weren’t super easy to execute, I was able to do the cross and first pair in one look.

Inspection: y x'

Cross: D F R D2' F

1st pair: U' L U' L' U' y R U' R'

After this, there was a connected pair staring me in the face… so obviously I chose to break it up and insert the green-yellow pair. I was in a bit of a hurry – no time to stop and think!

2nd pair: y' U2 R U' R' L U' L'

With the edges of the last two F2L pairs oriented, it was time to spam TPS.

3rd pair: U R U R' U' L' U L

4th pair: U R U' R' U R U' R' U R U' R'

Easy T ZBLL? Yes please!

ZBLL: U' F R U R' U' R U' R' U' R U R' F'

5.70 seconds, 54 moves (STM), 9.47 TPS

Thoughts on this blog

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Nomaan Haider

Nomaan Haider Posted 6 years ago

How can I improve my f2l



Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 6 years ago

Hey Nomaan - it depends how fast you are! Check out the Intermediate cross and F2L tutorials for plenty of advice.

Nick H

Nick H Posted 6 years ago

Congrats on all the world records Feliks - especially this one!
Fantastic work and well deserved :) 

Yixiao Shen

Yixiao Shen Posted 6 years ago

Hi Feliks,

Congratulations on the first sub 6 average!

For the second pair in your final solve, there is a connected pair but you did another pair and broke it up. Is this a mistake?

Stewy _

Stewy _ Posted 6 years ago

@Yixao Shen, yep it was a mistake, as he says in the description "After this, there was a connected pair staring me in the face… so obviously I chose to break it up and insert the green-yellow pair. I was in a bit of a hurry – no time to stop and think!"

Aaditya Sikder

Aaditya Sikder Posted 6 years ago


Bob Swaney

Bob Swaney Posted 6 years ago

This is really good content..i really enjoy walkthrough solves and reconstructions of better cubers as to see how they do their entire solves and get ideas for different techniques..great job on you sub-6 average feliks! YOU DA MAN!

Bob Swaney

Bob Swaney Posted 6 years ago


Arin Singh

Arin Singh Posted 6 years ago

What does STM stands for?

Bernhard Brodowsky

Bernhard Brodowsky Posted 6 years ago

Cool, thanks a lot. I tried the scrambles first and then I looked at the reconstruction. Even though I made slightly worse choices, I still got a very good average for my standards. And after doing the scramble myself, it was much more interesting to see what you did instead. (For the second scramble, I actually still prefer my solution since I preserved the pair during the X Cross)

However, one thing slightly bothers me. We always get to see reconstructions of very good Scrambles. World record, PBs, CRs, NRs, XX Crosses etc get reconstructed a lot. But nobody ever reconstructs bad scrambles. I mean, these Scrambles are not insane or anything, but they are good Scrambles with reasonably easy F2L.

What I would like to see slightly more of is reconstructions of Scrambles where lots of bad things happen. Everything is misoriented, pieces are in awkward positions in wrong slots, all crosses are bad etc. I would love to see how pros deal with such scrambles.

Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 6 years ago

Yixiao - thanks, and yes I would view that as a mistake in the solve! :)

Cheers Bob!

Arin - Slice Turn Metric

Bernhard - Sounds like an idea for an extras video on YouTube. I'll add it to the list, I think it could be quite interesting!

William Morgan

William Morgan Posted 6 years ago

great content, and good job with the WR! I tried the scrambles and did basically average by my standards, 24.72. I was wondering if there are any good ways to go about learning full LL algs or if I should just grind through 

Émile  Côté

Émile Côté Posted 6 years ago


Cubeskills is a very good website and i love it. 


Here's a question, Can you do tutorials on other events like skewb and 2x2? It would be really Nice.

Thanks :)

Émile  Côté

Émile Côté Posted 6 years ago

By the Way, You are really fast!

Compared to me, my PB is 18.86

Cuberious The SpeedCuber

Cuberious The SpeedCuber Posted 6 years ago

Can you do Solve Critiques?

Liam Gerard

Liam Gerard Posted 6 years ago

 Cuberious- I think he does that, just email him the video and ask him to.

Emile- 2x2 would be fun, but skewb is less interesting, I use the 1 alg. method, not very good.

Liam Gerard

Liam Gerard Posted 6 years ago

Speaking of ZBLL, would you mind doing an algorithm sheet for the ZB method?

Thanks for all you have done for us.


Dhafin Rayhan

Dhafin Rayhan Posted 6 years ago

Great reconstruction, and simply insane lol

Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 6 years ago

Emile - I think 2x2 and skewb tutorials will come eventually, but I'm not an expert in either of those events, and have higher priorities for tutorials right now.

Cuberious - I generally only do those for the premium members, because it requires quite a bit of time to review and critique solve videos.

Liam - Check out algdb.net for ZBLL algorithms.

Émile  Côté

Émile Côté Posted 6 years ago

Feliks- Ok thanks a lot, Keep going, Cubeskills is a really Nice website.

Liam- That's beacause i want to get sub 5 in skewb and 2x2 and i use Sarah intermediate for skewb.

Feliks- How often do You upload livestream per month?

Émile  Côté

Émile Côté Posted 6 years ago

Feliks- And finally, when do You think i should start learning full PLL? (I am currently around 28 seconds on average and i began to learn some PLL's -Edge PLL's, Corner PLL's, And some other PLL's Like JA, JB, Y, T...

Nathan  Fernandez

Nathan Fernandez Posted 6 years ago

Hi Feliks I am a sub 40 and I am having a hard time getting faster I use the beginners method with F2L.Any suggestions?

Tiago Oliveira

Tiago Oliveira Posted 6 years ago

When the gans air SM will be available?

Tiago Oliveira

Tiago Oliveira Posted 6 years ago

Feliks Gans cube give to you free cubes?

asdasd asdasdasd

asdasd asdasdasd Posted 6 years ago


Nico Reunion

Nico Reunion Posted 6 years ago

That was a lot of fun thank you Feliks and Brestcubing! Really helped me see other ways of building and inserting F2L. ZBLL is still like chinese to me though.

Though now I know the difference between x,y and z :)

I still can't comprehend how you see all of this in such a short time and please don't say practice haha

I was averaging 23 or so when I started cubeskills but thanks to you, yesterday at the beach, I casually did a 15, 16 and 17 seconds in front of the family :)

Ngọc Trang

Ngọc Trang Posted 6 years ago

I admire you Fekiks


Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 6 years ago

Emile - It's up to you, I started learning full PLL at around that speed though.

Nathan - All my advice on getting faster is in the tutorial videos and resources on this site :)

Tiago - Not sure, perhaps in about a month's time.

Nico - Merci! Glad you enjoyed it :)

Karli Rose

Karli Rose Posted 6 years ago

Congratulations on a brilliant average; I can't imagine anyone will beat it for some time; I discovered a couple of easy ZBLL's and a very nice Winter variation recently through experimentation and thought I'd ask I these are known to you already (RUR'URUR'U2LRU'R'UL' and RU2R'U'RU2R'U2LRU'R'UL' plus (U')R'F2RF2UL'UL for WV) and if not what you thought. In addition I have to ask out of pure curiosity: how much of ZBLL do you know and will you be learning all of it? Congratulations once again on the average!


Rick Lush

Rick Lush Posted 6 years ago

Feliks, thanks for this most informative of videos. I have never been to a competition and I picked up a few things from cyotheking's video "WCA Competitor Tutorial" on Youtube, but I still haven't figured something out that seems like a really obvious and fundamental question, despite searching extensively for the answer.

Does each competitor receive the same scramble?

I suspect so as I saw a reference to not discussing scrambles until the round is over.





Tien Tran

Tien Tran Posted 6 years ago

How do you recognize algorithms so fast?

Liam Gerard

Liam Gerard Posted 6 years ago

What is the Gans Air SM? How is it different from the UM?



Cuberious The SpeedCuber

Cuberious The SpeedCuber Posted 6 years ago

Should you start practicing not resting your arms on the table while solving before you start competing?

Sean Fei

Sean Fei Posted 6 years ago

By my looks this website is growing fast :) Nice commentary on the reconstructions, I like this style of blog!

Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 6 years ago

Karli - I do plan to continue slowly learning ZBLL cases over the coming months and years, but it's not a huge priority. :)

Rick - Correct, each competitor in each group is given the same set of scrambles. In earlier rounds of competition, there are multiple groups, so multiple sets of scrambles are required. 

Tien - Recognition time is developed through many years of practice :p

Liam - It's an upgraded version of the UM, and to the best of my knowledge, is faster and lighter. I don't know much about the internal design.

Cuberious - Yeah, most people don't rest their arms on the surface when solving.

Bauti Ramin

Bauti Ramin Posted 6 years ago

How do you practice? Should I practice for hours every day or can I practice for example only at the weekend?  

jon lloyd  matinagnos

jon lloyd matinagnos Posted 6 years ago

 Hi feliks! I just want to learn how to solve a 3x3 blindfolded?can you help me pls...thanks

anyway congratulations feliks!!!!!


Varun Gupta

Varun Gupta Posted 6 years ago


Viet Hoang Ngo

Viet Hoang Ngo Posted 6 years ago

What subsets do you use?

Paulo Sousa

Paulo Sousa Posted 6 years ago

Sorry but someone can explain me what should be UF colors to execute scrambles and what inspection move mean?

Thanks in advance

Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 6 years ago

Hey Paulo, 

Standard scrambling convention is to start with the white face on U, and the green face on F. Here is a good summary of the notation used, but it's also taught in tutorial videos along the way.

Ariel Monteclaro

Ariel Monteclaro Posted 6 years ago

Hi Feliks how can I solve 3x3 blindfolded and how can I learn color neutral??

Ariel Monteclaro

Ariel Monteclaro Posted 6 years ago

But how can I make my hands faster.

Helphy Lieby

Helphy Lieby Posted 6 years ago

Canyou make a list of T ZBLL?

Smiley Texta

Smiley Texta Posted 6 years ago


I do understand about predicting OLL in the second solve, but here are some alternative executions, and a completely different algorithm.

1.(U2) r' F' r U r U' r' F

2. R' U' R U x' R U' R' U

3.  F R U' R' U R U R' F'

The last one is similar to the F R U' R' U' R U R' F', but instead of doing a second U' you do a U. If you do a U2 you solve a case similar to F U R U' R' F', but there's two blocks as opposed to just one.

Bernhard Brodowsky

Bernhard Brodowsky Posted 6 years ago

I hope you do something similar for your newest WR. ?

Feliks Zemdegs

Feliks Zemdegs from CubeSkills Posted 6 years ago

Of course, I think that's a nice idea :)

Will Atchison

Will Atchison Posted 6 years ago

What are the subsets you use?

Silas Lickliter

Silas Lickliter Posted 5 years ago

It won't be long till you have a sub 5 average, Feliks :)

Akash Sreedharan

Akash Sreedharan Posted 3 years ago

Solve 2:

Na Perm has a shorter alg tho, 14 moves

R U' L U2 R' U L' R U' L U2 R' U L'

Akash Sreedharan

Akash Sreedharan Posted 3 years ago

but its longer to execute

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