Teenager breaks world Rubik's cube juggling record


(Photo: CGTN)

Que Jianyu, 13, has already played with Rubik's cubes for seven years and holds six Guinness World Records.

His father learned how to play and taught him when the boy was six years old. At first, it was just to develop his intelligence through remembering the formulas, but soon it was much more than that.

"He was able to solve the 3x3 Rubik's cube in four days, and he could soon do it faster than me," the boy's father grinned.

"My son might be a prodigy."

Que took the overwhelming compliment calmly. "Talent is only a small part of my success. It's all about practicing: half an hour, sometimes an hour a day. I practice more when I have more time," Que said.

His room is filled with Rubik's cubes of different sizes. He plays with a cube whenever he can and solves it at a dazzling speed, even when he's walking.

Que's mother soon joined the family team. There are often cube tournaments in the house. 

"We scramble up all of our cubes and see who can finish first," Que said. 

Que can normally solve over half the cubes within the set time.

Despite the need for speed, Que likes to play with more complicated cubes.

"I just keep going. I've played with 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, even 7x7 cubes," Que said.

He also practices blindfolded solving (BLD) and solving while juggling.

"He began to learn BLD at the age of seven. He practiced intensively during the 2012 summer vacation and got hold of it," Que's father recalled. From then on, the boy became a record breaker: the youngest to solve the 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 Rubik's cubes blindfolded, the fastest time solving three cubes while juggling, the fastest time solving the cube single-handed, and today, the youngest to complete a grand slam in Rubik's cube competitions.

Solving cubes while juggling is considered the most difficult Rubik's cube skill. After training for about three years, Que went on to learn juggling tricks from acrobatic troupes.

"He started with sandbags. When he managed to keep all the bags in midair, we let him play with the cubes," the father explained. "He has to memorize all the squares when the cubes are falling, and solve them as fast as he can."

"You always need to think about the next move and know the exact formula. The whole process must be smooth and quick," said Que.

Que has performed on reality shows like CCTV's "Avenue of Stars" and Zhejiang TV's "I Dream of China", and it was on the latter that he was challenged to solve three cubes while juggling. 

"Because it was a TV show, I was a bit nervous and had sweaty hands. Normally I rotate once in a toss. On the stage, however, I could only rotate once in two or three tosses," Que said.

In December 2017, Que set a new Guinness World Record for solving three Rubik's cubes while juggling of five minutes and 6.61 seconds. The audience was stunned: "I couldn't even see his fingers clearly!"

"I was really happy, because I did it," Que said.

Even though he is a world renowned Rubik's cube player, Que still takes the game as a hobby: "I've had a lot of fun solving the cubes. I've traveled around the world to attend competitions. I've won awards and titles, and made friends at the games."

When asked about his future plans, the 13-year-old says he's still thinking about that. "I'll just focus on studying for now," he grinned.