Original title: A bűvös kocka (Rubik's Cube)
TIT Budapest, 1981. ISBN 963-4-57746-6*

To the best of my knowledge, this small booklet was the first Hungarian publication about that phenomenon that swept the world in the late 1970s, Rubik's Cube. Published by an obscure publishing house (the publishing office of Budapest's Free University) in only about 1500 copies, it never hit the best seller list, but it nevertheless represented a proud accomplishment for me at the tender age of 16.

The booklet focuses mainly on "solving" the cube, but it also provides a glimpse into the mathematics behind the puzzle. For instance, it tells you that the number of different states that Rubik's Cube can be in is 37×8!×210×12! = 43,252,003,274,489,856,000.

The booklet consists of five chapters, one of which (chapter 5) was written by my good personal friend, László Varga:

  • Preface
  • 1: Solving the Cube
  • 2: Number of Combinations
  • 3: Refining the Solution
  • 4: More on the Minimum Number of Moves in a Solution
  • 5: Regular Patterns and Moves
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Appendix

My involvement with Rubik's Cube did not begin with this booklet. The previous year, I was invited to lead a course, organized by the Free University for those interested in learning more about Rubik's Cube. I also had an article published in Hungary's mathematics journal for secondary schools (Középiskolai Matematikai Lapok). Subsequently in 1981, I was asked to be a technical reviewer of the "real" Rubik book, authored by Ernö Rubik and others, including my friend Gerzson Kéri, who wrote the chapter that I was invited to referee. At one time, I was also a cube "champion", having achieved my fifteen minutes of fame by solving the cube in 55 seconds during the first ever (as far as I know) public Rubik's Cube competition.

*ISBN number is reconstructed; for some reason, the publisher only recorded the five digit publication number, 57746, on the inside page.