Author: Hannah Minas
Competition: Xlingen Open 2019, 9./10. November 2019 in Kreuzlingen TG
The second Xlingen Open took place in the Aula Torggel. In spite of the spontaneous announcement, the participation limit was exceeded and some newcomers took up the challenge.
On Saturday, it started rather comfortably with the more special categories. Our blind events king Oleg Gritsenko clearly took the lead with 11:36 min in 5×5 blindfolded. Former Swiss NR owner Luca Rizzi came in second with a time of 22:48 min. Unfortunately, none of the remaining 4 participants managed to get a success and the third place remained unoccupied.
In Megaminx, there was a new NR to announce: Manuel Bühler improved his own record single to 43.35s. In the finals, Daniel (52.67) prevailed against Manuel (53.95), who shone in the previous two rounds with sub 50 averages. Tobias Peter (58.30) finished third ahead of Ioannis Papadopoulos.
In 5×5 (with looking) there was a close decision. In the end, Tobias (1:08.73) won ahead of Fabian Löhle (1:09.27) and Leon Schmidtchen (1:09.41).
While Laura Mellier improved the Swiss record for Square-1 to an incredible average of 10.03s (in France), the favourites in Kreuzlingen prevailed. Dominic Lumsden started with a counting time of less than 10 seconds, but at the end he had counting times of 9, 14 and 21 seconds. Marco Syfrig solved much more consistently and deservedly won with an average of 12.80s. Behind Dominic (15.16), Yannic Waser finished third with a new personal best (16.93).
Tobias (14.35) won the one-handed event clearly ahead of Yannic (16.53), again with a new personal best. Third was Fabian Löhle (17.79), also with new personal best.
The first big surprises came with Skewb. Yannic (4.94) did not win unexpectedly, but two Skewb podium rookies followed. Sandro Mattenberger (5.30) secured his first podium ever and Luca Rizzi (5.63) surprised himself, as his best time before was 2 seconds slower. Fourth was co-favorite Dominik Fürer (5.71).
On Sunday, we continued with the more popular events. After the first rounds in the morning, everyone went out to eat pizza together and then went on to the finals well fed.
In 4×4 blindfolded, the feelings went up and down. Oleg as well as Luca and Fabian Settelen were able to get successes on the first two solves, but missed a mean with a DNF in the last attempt. So it remains with only one Swiss with a 4bld mean. It was especially bitter for Luca, who only had two pieces swapped and was pushed off the podium after Tobias’ Success in the second attempt. Also some of the other participants only narrowly missed successes. Thanks to his 4bld result, Fabian Settelen is only the fifth Swiss (after Tobias, Luca, Fabian Löhle and Hannah Minas) to have a result in all event categories. Congratulations! Oleg won with 4:22, ahead of Tobias (5:52) and Fabian Settelen (8:40).
The final in Pyraminx was again a very tight affair. Dominic won the event for the first time (4.44), closely followed by Dominik (4.49) and Hannah (4.58).
In 3×3 blindfolded, no one managed to beat Oleg, who already set up a time of 33.46s with the first attempt. Second was Hannah (51.63), who missed successes and thus the podium in 4×4 and 5×5 blindfolded by only 3-5 parts each. Third was Tobias (1:01.32), ahead of the two aspiring blind solvers Alistair Robequin (1:02.32) and Willem Klose (1:06.95). In the previous round, Alistair became the 5th Swiss to get a 3×3 blind single of less than 1 minute. Congratulations!
The final in 4×4 turned out to be a fight for centiseconds. The surprising winner was Patrick Hetco (34.33), ahead of Julian Bürgi (34.37, 8th Swiss with sub 30 single!) and Finn Ickler (34.53). Favorite Leon followed by a blink of an eye (34.55) on rank 4.
Even more surprising was what happened in the 2×2 final. A 5-mover in the 2nd attempt led to the demolition of the more than three-year-old Swiss national record for 2×2 single (1.02 by Basil Herold 2016). While some preferred not to take the total risk (Philipp Schiemer/Austria 2.03, Dominik Fürer 1.98, Sandro Mattenberger 1.22), others went all in a bit too much (Pacifico Rodrigues 0.85+2, Yannic Waser 0.75+2) and others turned faster than the cube allowed (Ben Zwicky 9.24 with Pop, Fabian Löhle DNF). Luca (0.96), Daniel Brem (0.93), Tobias (0.86 NR) and Dominic (0.82 / NR3 UK) made the best turn in the end.
Philipp (2.91), who won ahead of Luca (3.16) and Tobias (3.43), had the best nerves in all the hustle and bustle. Daniel Brem, leading after the first round (it was only his 4th competition!), “only” came in 5th at the end, but his next podium will come soon for sure.
In 3×3 finals, there were no surprises. It came down to the expected three-way fight, which Leon (9.15) won. The podium was completed by Julian (9.23) and Patrick (9.44).
At the award ceremony, there was also chocolate to win this time beside the certificates. All winners could choose a piece of Läderach chocolate, the second place winners had the choice between different Lindt bars and the third place winners had a cheap milk or nut chocolate to choose from.
Another entertaining competition with some records, convincing favourites and surprises. We cannot only be curious when the 10s barrier will be broken in Square-1, but also how 2×2 or 4×4 (behind Richard Delacoste) will develop or whether (besides Valentin Lanz and Tobias) another challenger for Oleg will soon emerge in the blind events.
All categories will be held in a month at the Swisscubing Cup Final in Hünenberg ZG. Will Tobias defend his title, Reto get it back, or will someone new prevail? We are looking forward to all registrations and also guests are very welcome!