The Cube-ist!

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Prodigy Bernett Orlando, World Rubik Cube Champion
Prodigy Bernett Orlando, World Rubik Cube Champion

How do you solve a 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube, blindfolded, in 9 seconds? With squirrels, goats, sticks and gates.

At least, that's how Bernett Orlando, the youngest to win a Rubik's Cube World Championship, does it. He was all of 11 years when he beat 363 contestants from around the world, solving a 5x5x5 cube blindfolded in 55 minutes. In fact, he was the only one who finished the cube!“It's called the Journey System,” the 14-year-old says, solemnly. “You memorise the position of the squares and the colours using landmarks around you.” The adults around him look completely flummoxed. “For instance,” he patiently continues, “if there's a yellow and a red square next to each other, for me it signifies a squirrel; yellow-orange is a goat; red-blue is a leaf and so on. Now you just need to remember these objects in a certain order.”

Studying in the St. James Matriculation School in Thiruchirapalli, all of Bernett's achievements have been in the Open Category — including the world championship, 26 Indian records and six Asian records — which means, he competed with people of all ages, and won.

Head bent, his fingers hardly seeming to touch the Cube as it twists and turns at will, Bernett Orlando has evidently made a very early start.



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