Monday, November 15, 2010

Is this calcuation or pattern recognition?

This one is for Maret Thorpe, who thinks I've gone off my rocker!

Felix Zemdegs set a Rubik's Cube solving record in Melbourne this weekend. Trust me, you have time to watch.  (If you give one to me, I should be able to solve it in five minutes or so: there was a time when I was much faster....)

The more interesting question: how does Felix (who is the best of many lightning-fast expert solvers) do what he does?  I'd suggest that the answer might be of interest to chess players, and others.....

Jason Rihel has a wonderful first-person account at the Boylston Chess Club blog.


Maret said...

Off your rocker? No. Entering the twilight zone? Yes!

But I do believe I see the point you were trying to's starting to emerge from the fog...I can almost make it out.

(On a personal note, it's reassuring to know pattern recognition is a factor in chess, because I can't calculate for beans.)

Bill Brock said...

I would VERY OCCASIONALLY calculate a 9-ply (4½ moves) variation with no branches (or one branch) before I became a Class A player. Even now, calculating a variation more than six ply deep is the exception rather than the rule.