KARACHI: Around 70 athletes from four countries are participating in the Pakistan Open 2018 Rubik’s Cube competition scheduled at NUML, Islamabad, on August 11.
“The online registration for this event will be closed on August 5,” said Abdullah Gulab, the organiser. “The total participation will be of 70 competitors from Pakistan, Belarus, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. Ilya Tsiareshka, an official of World Cube Association (WCA), is coming to officiate at this event,” he added.
The Executive Director of Cubing Pakistan told ‘The News’ from Canada that Speedcubing (the official term for solving Rubik’s Cubes fast) has a bright future in Pakistan.
“For the past four years, I have seen countless videos with individuals claiming to be the fastest Pakistani cuber and the encouraging part was that each individual was faster than the previous,” he added.
This, he added, means the sport was there and thriving. “What the cubers of Pakistan were missing was an officially sanctioned tournament to show their skills to the world. In the 16 years of the World Cube Association (WCA) over 4000 competitions have been held in 90 countries, but this competition will be the first in Pakistan and will encourage others to pick up cubing,” he added.
Abdullah said that their organisation was registered with the SECP and Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) of Pakistan.
He said discussions were under way to get it registered with Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).“The Board of Directors of the WCA gave me the go-ahead to organise the first official competition in Pakistan. I am in direct contact with the Senior Delegate of Asia and WCA Committee members in this regard,” he added.
Talking about foreign participation, he said all WCA competitions were open to competitors of any nationality just as he was competing as a Pakistani in Canada.
“As very few Pakistanis have the opportunity to go abroad to compete, I tried to bring competitions to Pakistan,” he said. “There are 24 other Pakistanis from around the world who have competed in several competitions in different countries,” said Abdullah.
“I have contacted local cubers and asked them to spread the word and teach it to others around them. Even in Canada, I taught this sport to at least five or six of my Pakistani friends,” said Abdullah.
He said quite a few people from Pakistan had tried for the past three years to get a delegate to come over. “I took full responsibility of the delegate’s lodging and transportation and helped them get visas,” said Abdullah.
He added that there were several competitors who wanted to compete but they live in cities that are far from Islamabad and thus cannot take part. “There are over 100 cubers in Lahore but most of them have trouble coming to Islamabad,” he added.
“After this event, I plan to conduct workshops with my team to help others improve their skills of speedcubing,” said Abdullah, adding that all of this was done under the banner of Cubing Pakistan.