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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Japan teen in historic Rubik win
Rubik's Cube World Championships in Budapest
It was the 25th anniversary of the first Rubik's world championships
A Japanese teenager has won the Rubik's Cube World Championships in Hungary's capital, Budapest, taking less than 13 seconds to finish the cult '80s puzzle.

Yu Nakajima, 16, took home 5,000 euros (3,400, $7,000) after winning the main event of the three-day tournament.

Nearly 300 contenders from 33 countries tried their hands - and feet - at the puzzle, some completing it blindfolded.

Hungarian architect Erno Rubik invented the cube in Hungary in 1974. More than 300 million cubes have been sold since.

Puzzling success

Nakajima solved the classic 3x3 version of the six-coloured cube - which has nine squares on each side - with an average time of 12.46 seconds in five attempts.

I'm glad the cube is reaching new generations, who face it with fresh wonder, curiosity and enthusiasm
Erno Rubik
Rubik's Cube inventor

US contender Andrew Kang took second prize and Nakajima's countryman, Mitsuki Gunji, came third.

None were able to beat the world record of 9.86 seconds set by French cube enthusiast Thibaut Jacquinot in May.

The competition marked the 25th anniversary of the first Rubik's world championships, also held in the cube's birthplace, in 1982.

Mr Rubik, 63, made a rare public appearance at the championship to give out the main prizes at a medal ceremony.

"I'm glad the cube is reaching new generations, who face it with fresh wonder, curiosity and enthusiasm," he said.

Erno Rubik at Rubik's Cube World Championships in Budapest
Mr Rubik made a rare public appearance at the competition

Although Mr Rubik invented the puzzle in 1974, it was not available outside Hungary until 1980.

It has been listed in the Oxford English dictionary, inspired a stage play, a TV series and, the Rubik's company claims, its success contributed to the reform of Hungary's communist economy in the early 1980s.

Rubik's also says the puzzle sparked a divorce in 1981, when a German woman complained that her husband spent more time with his cube than with her.

Following the success of the cube - which is said to have 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible configurations - Mr Rubik invented several other mechanical puzzles, including Rubik's Magic, Rubik's Clock and Rubik's Snake.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Contestants complete the Rubik's Cube with their feet



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