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Blindfolded, teen solves Rubik puzzle in Brazil meet

Guwahati boy gives credit to parents, peanuts and almonds for winning gold in Sao Paulo world championship

By Saurav Bora in Guwahati
  • Published 29.07.15
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Kabyanil Talukdar with the winner's certificate. Telegraph picture

Guwahati, July 28: He attributes his success mantra to patience, dedication and loads of peanuts and almonds, which, by his admission, keeps his mind in the right frame.

Fifteen-year-old Kabyanil Talukdar from Guwahati recently won gold in the 3x3x3 cube blindfolded category of the Rubik's Cube World Championship organised under the aegis of the World Cube Association at Sao Paulo, Brazil, recently. Kabyanil broke his record at the Tokyo championships last year with a time of 24.86 seconds.

He is currently ranked third in the category after a Polish and a Chinese participant.

But of course, his association with chess, a mind sport, since he was a kid, has been instrumental in his success in a sport not many in the Northeast either know or have tried their hands at.

"Regular meditation, something my father, who is a yoga instructor at the Guwahati Central Jail, inculcated and of course, lots of peanuts and almonds an hour before the final round have helped in what I have achieved. But more importantly, I have been associated with chess and have taken part in national and international meets since I was six, which has helped," says the lanky boy who arrived in the city to a hero's welcome on Sunday.

And the beginning of the story, his father Hari Prasad Talukdar says, was "by chance" in 2012.

"We were returning from New Delhi by train when Kabyanil insisted on buying a Rubik's Cube from a vendor that cost just Rs 20. At that time, he tried his best to solve the puzzle but could not. That led him to take the help of Internet where he learnt the art through various techniques," he said.

Thereafter, he took part in competitions held at various Indian Institutes of Technology, starting from Guwahati, where students and teachers motivated him to take up the sport after gauging what his nimble fingers could do. There was no looking back from there on. In less than two years, he has taken part in various national and international meets.

Union sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Oil India Ltd had helped Kabyanil meet his expenses for the South American meet.

In Brazil, Kabyanil, who is also a football fan, fulfilled a dream. "I wanted to be in Pele's country and having been there, visited a museum dedicated to the legend at Santos apart from two football clubs in Sao Paulo."

This is just the beginning though for the Class X student of Assam Jatiya Bidyalay, Noonmati, as he now eyes further laurels for his state and country.

"I have my eyes set on the 3x3x3 multiple blindfolded category in the next world championships which are scheduled to be held in Poland," Kabyanil said, as his fingers worked dexterously on a cube sitting in the living room of his tranquil Luit Nagar (Noonmati) residence. The cube was scrambled by this correspondent who saw the boy race to his goal in just 10 seconds. Academics, too, are a priority for the high school student. "I will be sitting in the matric exam in February and so will study hard for it too," he said.

"His dedication to the sport has been second to none. Credit also goes to his father who has been with him throughout. From our part, we have motivated him and have considered his absence from classes from time to time," Ghanshyam Medhi, principal of Assam Jatiya Bidyalay, told The Telegraph.