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U.S. Open in Chicago

By Tim State in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 18, 2007 12:49AM

06-17-07_Rubiks_Cube.jpgWe took a break from our Dungeons and Dragons to check out the competitive gaming taking place at the Chicago Cultural Center this weekend, which played host to the 2007 U.S. Open. We’re not talking about tennis here. We’re talking about the Rubik’s Cube Championship, where the winner of the 3x3x3 Speed Solve gets an all-expense-paid trip to the 2007 World Rubik’s Cube Championship in Budapest.

The competition was was sanctioned by the World Cube Association, and included sub-categories, the one-handed speed solve and the blindfold solve, as well as solves for Cubes of all sizes. Competition was fierce, with those not qualifying with a single solve in 24.00 seconds being relegated to the consolation round. It’s where we separate the men from the boys, people.

As if those competitions are not exciting enough, they had a number of side events, featuring Square-1, Magic, Master Magic, 3x3x3 Fewest Moves, Pyramix, and Clock. And of course, there were the trading cards. Trading cards of cube champions. Competition spanned both days this weekend, with the qualification rounds on Saturday and the final rounds on Sunday. And in case you’re wondering how the Rubik’s Competition Season will end in Budapest, you can follow the rankings on-line.

The competition is part of Art of Play, a collaborative effort of Chicago cultural organizations, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Chicago Office of Tourism, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Tourism. The summer-long festival, of sorts, highlights interactive play and gaming with special events and exhibits throughout the city, highlighting that some of our country’s best toys and games. (Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys) grew up right here in the Chicago area.)