Fernando Robles Alvardo: Rubik’s Cube Master
The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor Erno Rubik. The iconic cube is a 3-D combination puzzle that starts with a randomized and shuffled configuration of the cube, which is solved by rotating the pieces to create solid-color sides. Solving one is mathematically difficult and is often touted as a game that makes users smarter. Business Insider says, “It will improve your concentration, allow you to process your own thoughts faster, and improve your hand-eye coordination…and improve your short-term memory.” It’s so difficult that it took inventor Rubik a month to solve his own puzzle!
On a hot summer day, I got to witness 9-year-old Fernando Robles Alvardo, a 4th grader at Boevers Elementary, solve one in under three minutes. Fernando’s favorite hobby is solving all the different types of Rubik’s Cube puzzles and showing off his skills to others.
TK: What is a Rubik’s Cube?
Fernando: A Rubik’s Cube is a cube with six colors, 12 edge pieces and 8 corner pieces. The most common is a 3 x 3 x 3 Rubik’s Cube, but there are also other types of cubes like Pyraminx (tetrahedron) and Megaminx (Dodecahedron).
TK: At what age did you discover them?
TK: What is the fastest you have completed one?
A: I have completed a 2 x 2 x 2 in about 15 seconds. I have completed a Pyraminx in about 20 seconds (sometimes I have done it in 12 seconds). I have completed a Skewb in about 23 seconds. (The World Record time is 0.93 seconds.)
TK: Who inspires you?
Fernando: I could have chosen a YouTuber, but my mom is my inspiration because she always says “never give up,” and she encourages me.
TK: What type of Rubik’s Cube is your favorite?
Fernando: The Skewb. (The Skewb Cube is one of the types of cubes modified after the success of the Rubik’s Cube.)
TK: What other hobbies do you have?
Fernando: Legos, K’nex and all kinds of building toys. Also, I have a keyboard, and I am still learning how to play it.
TK: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Fernando: An engineer.
TK: What advice do you have for others who want to learn to solve the Rubik’s Cube?
Fernando: I would say practice and don’t give up.
TK: What is a fun fact about you?
Fernando: I like to joke around with family.