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This Hawaii teen mastered the Rubik’s Cube. Now his speedy fingers are set on the world title

Honolulu KHNL 8/5/2022 Jim Mendoza
16-year-old Matty Inaba © Provided by Honolulu KHNL 16-year-old Matty Inaba

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island teenager Matty Inaba is a whiz at solving the Rubik’s Cube.

He makes manipulating the plastic puzzle look like child’s play.

The 16-year-old is one of the fastest Rubik’s Cube solvers in the world and goes by the social media handle @TheCubingJedi.

“I like Star Wars so I just made that my name,” he said.

At the recent World Cube Association North American Championship, Matty took home the crown — adding another title to his growing resume that includes multiple Japan Open championships.

He got his first Rubik’s Cube seven years ago, and learned how to solve the color-coded game by watching YouTube videos.

“It took a good part of the day to solve it, and it was very satisfying,” he said.

That satisfaction has gone to another level. He now solves the Rubik’s Cube at a blistering pace, plotting his moves in advance by using algorithms that enable him to twist and turn the toy at lightning speed.

“At home I have a 3.01-second solve, and in competition I have a 4.27,” he said.

In the team relay event at the North American Championship, he did it in 3.08 seconds. It would have been the world record in an individual round.

“That would have been a world record by about .29 seconds, I think, which would have been crazy,” he said.

Matty’s a sophomore at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He plays baseball, golfs and dabbles in oil painting.

But the cube takes up most of his spare time.

He practices an average of 100 solves a day, searching for that edge that will make him even faster.

“I usually learn new algorithms to cut down my move count to solve the cube by a couple moves. Sometimes that can be the difference,” he said.

As the defending North American champ, he’s set his sights on the world title.

“Pretty much that’s the end goal,” he said.

Judging by Matty’s flying fingers, it’s within his reach.

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