On Saturday morning, I thought I would get there early enough to beat everyone, since people were there early last time. I parked in the back, and checked the upper parking lot and there was a van there with Missouri plates. It was the Ali brothers, so they came down and sat around while I finished up some setup.
The first 3x3x3 round went pretty good. Jake Rueth had brought and extra displays so we had 5 instead of 4, and we got everyone through and were doing pretty good on time. The newspaper photographer came by and took some pictures. I myself wasn't able to take many pictures. What you see is what you get.
Then we had the first round of 2x2x2. I went and with no warmup, I was getting 7.xx second solves, which is a lot better than what I do at home. It was my first time competing in 2x2x2, since the previous times I didn't have an Eastsheen 2x2x2, so my times would have been awful. I found out at the end that I had a 8.20 average, which is .20 seconds from being able to pre-qualify for 2x2x2 at the US Nationals. Oh well.
After the 2x2x2, we did 4x4x4 which is another event I haven't officially competed in yet (again, lack of Eastsheen, plus I didn't know some parity fixes for the last MN Open).
I ordered some pizzas from Domino's for delivery, since the last time Little Caesar's delayed our order for so long. I guess it was gone instantly and I should have ordered a few more. I guess that's one of the problems with trying to have free food. If you have someone who pays $5 for the registration fee, but brings and entourage of 8 people, it just doesn't work out. I did make sure that the judges did get some food, because I would hate to starve the help. I suppose I'll have to do something different next year, I just don't know what yet.
Darren Grewe was also able to bring many of his rare puzzles (Tony Fishers's plus other custom creations). It was nice to be able to play with a Bump Cube and Pyraminx Crystal. I also let him play with my Helicopter Cube, since his didn't arrive yet. I wish I would've had more time to explore them, but I was too busy.
We held the Square-1 over lunch, and I did my three solves. On one of them, after I finished with layer permutation (and perhaps a very simple corner permutation), I had a situation where both layers had one pair of opposite edges that needed to be swapped, which is extremely simple, so I ended up getting a 36 second solve on a puzzle I usually average around 59 seconds. So I stopped the timer on that and gave a little shout.
I sat out of the One-handed event since I'm not really that good and wanted to keep the competition on schedule. Most of the competitors weren't aware of the new rules that you could inspect with both hands. Come on competitors, get familiar with the regulations!
Since Megaminx was a slower event, we held the Magics and blindfold during that. I had told Bob when we came that we would probably add Magic if we had time, and his response was "Magic's a joke." For those of you who don't understand, Bob's the former World Record holder of Magic and was simply referring to the fact that Magic doesn't really take any time to do, not that it's a worthless event. That's what the Caltech people say. The cardboard sheets that I had brought for blindfold, Jaclyn really liked them for judging, so I gave her a bunch to use at their other competitions. I tried to convince Phil Thomas to try Magic, just so that he would compete in an event and not win, but he didn't take the bait.
The reporter for the Post-Bulletin also came by and interviewed me. I told her I would proofread her article if she sent me a copy, since people always get cubing facts wrong. She also talked with Bob.
After that, we held Skewb, which is still unofficial, so I was able to scramble without having to be completely finished with my solves. Jake Rueth now has the unoffical world record for Skewb held during an official WCA event.
We had the final round of 2x2x2 and 3x3x3. My second round of 2x2x2 was much more on par with my actual skills. In the final 3x3x3 (phew, I'm still making it to the final 3x3x3 round at my own event), I got a 19.25 solve. While it's not fast compared to others or to my average, it was still nice to have a single solve under 20 seconds. Hopefully I can average that someday.
Even with the lack of practice/warmup, I did set new bests for all of the events I was in, so that's pretty good. I did much worse at the last Minnesota Open since I was doig so much preparing.
We had the award ceremony and after that most people left. A few of the older ones stuck around and helped me pack up and put some chairs away. Like last year, we then went to Denny's for dinner (they have really good lighting and they seem tolerant of our antics). We discussed cubing, the upcoming Nationals. Jake popped his Megaminx during dinner and I guess the piece ended up going under the cushion, which Jake then removed the seat and dug under there to find it. Apparantly it was extremely gross, but I didn't press anyone for details.
After dinner, we hung out in the parking lot for a while and talked some more. I finally left after declaring I would leave about 3 or 4 times. After that, I headed back home and re-verified spreadsheet with all the scoresheets to make sure everything was correct.
In July I'll be at Nationals competiting. I probably won't make it out of the qualifying rounds, but I'll have plenty of fun. I did find someone who said they were interested in holding a competition up in the Twin Cities, so hopefully that works out (at the last MN Open, someone said the same thing, but then wouldn't respond to any e-mails afterwards). I don't think I'll be able to do another competition this year that I organize by myself, so if that Twin Cities one doesn't work out, I'll try to see if someone else in the area is interested in running one.
Thanks again to Gethsemane Lutheran Brethren Church for the venue and for all the people who volunteered to judge/scramble.