It took Brian Allen a week to solve his first Rubik's Cube. It takes an average of 16.82 seconds these days.
His unofficial personal best is 10.66 seconds.
The 13-year-old will compete against the best at the World Cubing Association World Championships, held in Melbourne next week.
He's aiming to get to the second round of competition in the 3x3 and the 2x2 competitions.
It will be his third competition ever.
Brian has easily solved more than 10,000 cubes since he was given the toy for Christmas 18 months ago. His best is probably a thousand solves in a week.
He learnt the craft the modern way, watching YouTube tutorials to figure out the puzzle.
But to get his time into the teens Brian has memorised dozens of algorithms.
It's these that improve the efficiency of his solve.
And he's getting faster still as he adds to the mathematical string.
But there's more work to break sub-10, Brian's dream. He'll have to learn subsets - consisting of hundreds of algorithm to get up to speed.
Patience, dedication and the ability to wrap your head around a Rubik's Cube are among the trains required in a master solver, Brian said.
Spatial awareness and the memory to incorporate algorithms into your brain are other critical skills.
"It requires a big part of your look-ahead skills. To be able to keep track of pieces as they move around and think of what algorithm you're going to need to use," Brian said.
Competitors - Brian among them - will be given a scrambled Rubik's Cube on a special timer pad. Each cube aficionado is given the same scramble. They have 15 seconds to inspect the cube, then it's away.
Mum Judy Allen is still amazed by her son's skill. She suspects cubing skills run in the family, her own parents loved puzzles.
Even when she took Brian to his first competition, the last thing she thought was he would qualify for the worlds.
"All the kids got a Rubik's Cube, like it's just one of those standard presents you give a kid, and this kid took it and he's just run with it," Mrs Allen said.
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