Vince Capocelli, Rubik’s cube speed solver
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:13PM EST
The Rubik’s cube: for most people it's a device that drives them absolutely crazy.
Competitive speed solver Vince Capocelli, however, makes it look so easy.
What started out as something quite innocent quickly turned into an obsession for the 12-year-old.
“I started learning on the Internet and I wanted to solve a Rubik’s cube. Two weeks later, I learnt the beginner's method and then I went to my first competition. After that I started learning the more advanced method,” he said.
These methods add a new twist to an old game. -- Vince solves the brain-busting puzzle while racing against the clock.
“I average 25 seconds and sometimes 24, 23,” he said.
It's called speed solving, or speed cubing, and there are different categories: While the traditional cube is 6x6, Vince is working his way to the top of the competition ladder with other challenges, he said.
“I speed solved a 3x3 and 2x2, and I can solve other puzzles but they're not World Cube Association puzzles,” he said, referring to the group that holds the World Rubik's Cube Championship.
Speed solver Gabriel Guay said the boy is improving.
“He's getting better -- pretty fast -- so I can see him being pretty good soon,” he said.
There's a lot more to solving a Rubik’s cube than just speed and practice, however. Logic, or more precisely, algorithms, play an important role in the understanding of the process.
“I want to work hard and learn more algorithms and learn more parts of the method to become really fast -- like as fast as them,” said Vince, referring to top speed solvers.
Speed solver Antoine Cantin said practice pays off.
“To become really fast, basically what you have to do is practice a lot because practice makes perfect. Also, it helps to learn a lot of algorithms so you can optimize yourself,” he said.
Vince’s father Joe Capocelli said his son has to keep his priorities straight, though.
“His math is pretty good. Better this year, but I have tried to make his do his homework first before he does any speed solving. His homework is always more important,” he said.
Like anyone involved in competition, Vince said he has goals and objectives.
“I hope to get better and better, so I can go to these other, bigger competitions, like the U.S. nationals or other competitions across Canada, even the Canadian Open,” he said. “I hope to go even to the world championships and win there maybe one day.”