The Fridrich method was developed by Jessica Fridrich in the early 1980's. It is the most widely used speedcubing solution in use today.
The problem with solving the first layer completely and then the second layer completely, is that to solve the second layer, each corner piece from the first layer needs to be moved out of position. It would be far better to solve each of the 4 edge and corner positions at once. This is commonly referred to as F2L (First Two Layers).
The Basic Solution solved the last layer in 4 steps. First by orienting the edges, then orienting the corners, then positioning the corners and finally positioning the edges. Now it would make sense to orient and position the corners in one step and then orient and position the edges in another step. This would cut out two steps, making it much quicker to solve the cube. The problem with orienting and positioning at the same time, is that it is very difficult to recognize the different patterns. It turns out to be much easier to recognize the patterns if we try to first orient the edges and corners in one step and then position the edges and corners in another step. Jessica Fridrich devised the Fridrich method to achieve this. At her peak Jessica could routinely solve the cube in 17 seconds. The steps and times are detailed below:
|Step||Average Moves Required||Estimated Time|
|Solve the cross||7||2 seconds|
|Solve the F2L||28||8 seconds|
|Orient the edges and corners||9||3 seconds|
|Position the edges and corners||12||4 seconds|
This part of the solution is exactly the same as the Basic Solution. However to solve the cross quickly requires a lot of practice. When measuring your times, the official rules allow for a 15 second inspection before starting. This time can be used to visualize the moves required to solve the cross.
Some other important tips are to know the colour scheme of your cube inside out. This will allow you to solve the cross without having to align each edge with the centre piece. As long as the edge pieces are solved correctly relatively, then a simple turn of the Down face will align all four edge pieces at once.
The biggest trick here is to first match up a first layer corner with the correct middle layer edge. These two pieces need to be matched by bringing them both into the Upper layer. Then the 2 pieces can simply be inserted into the correct slot. It turns out that there are 42 cases that each corner piece and matching edge piece can be in. Now the best way to learn how to solve the F2L is to learn the basic cases and then experiment on your own to try and see how to solve different cases. If you are getting stuck then take a look at the algorithms provided. Most cases are simple variations of the basic cases and don't need to be explicitly memorized.
As this page is still a work in progress, I haven't provided any algorithms yet. Stay tuned for further updates.