When it comes to solving a Rubik’s cube (blindfolded), this Saskatoon man is one of the best on Earth
Published Wednesday, October 23, 2019 5:59PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, October 23, 2019 9:59PM CST
Jake Klassen, a former Rubik’s cube world champion, lost to an American this summer.
The 19-year-old is fairly certain he will regain the title.
"I competitively solve Rubik’s cubes blindfolded and I happen to be really good at it after a while and good enough that I’ve been able to travel a bit and I’ve set some major records," said Klassen, whose record is 19.79 seconds.
He has travelled to Austraila, New Zealand, Belgium and all over North America to compete. He even gets much of his expenses paid through sponsorship.
He attributes his success to a background in speed reading, which makes him think fast, and piano which develops superior dexterity.
Klassen, a science student at the University of Saskatchewan, started playing seriously when he was 15 after a resurgence in the cube’s popularity because of internet play.
His methods don’t involve algorithms or tricks and he can’t give away too many of his secrets, he said.
“I’m planning out which pieces I’m going to solve in a certain order. Every sticker gets a certain letter. So if I had four letters, ABCD, then I’d memorize those letters. Then when I put the blindfold on I can solve ABCD right now."
Klassen’s friend, Mathew Zbitniff, said he enjoys having a friend who is a world leader in cubing.
"It's actually really cool sometimes, if I introduce Jake to one of my friends, if he has his Rubik’s cube on him, I show them him solving it with his eyes closed and every time, they're amazed."
Klassen said there’s no trick to what he does, just hard work and learning from mistakes. He’s looking forward to a possible career in medicine, but for now he’s enjoying life with a twist.