Nicolas Hammond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Nicolas Hammond (born 3 August 1964) is a British writer, Rubik's Cube expert, bridge player, and businessman. He has lived in the US since 1986. He made the world's first Internet banking transaction.[1]

Early life[edit]

Nicolas Hammond was born in Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, England. He was awarded an academic scholarship to Nottingham High School and an academic scholarship to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 and was awarded a master's degree in 1990.

Hammond is divorced with two sons and one daughter.

Rubik's Cube[edit]

Hammond was introduced to the Rubik's Cube in 1979 by Peter Horrill, head of mathematics at Nottingham High School. The early cubes often broke and Hammond started corresponding with David Singmaster who was importing and selling Rubik's Cubes. Singmaster wrote how fast Hammond was solving the Rubik's Cube (28 seconds) in his Rubik's Notes and later in his Cubic Circular he was a star a football [1]. By 1980, Hammond had the fastest times for solving the Rubik's Cube. Reader's Digest, Scientific American[2] (March 1981) and Time Magazine[3] (March 1981) covered Hammond as one of the world's first cube-meisters.

Hammond was the fastest qualifier for the first British Rubik's Cube Championship when he won the Midlands heat of the British Rubik's Cube Championship with a time of 35.38 seconds but did not win the event.[4]

Hammond used a computer to determine an upper bound for the Rubik's Cube U group of 21 moves.[5]

Television appearances[edit]

On 24 January 1981 [2], Hammond appeared on BBC TV's live Saturday morning show Multi-Coloured Swap Shop with Erno Rubik and solved the Rubik's Cube in 37 seconds. This was the first solving of the Rubik's Cube on national television in England. Two weeks later, five others tried to beat this time, the closest was 57 seconds.[6]

Hammond solved the cube on other television shows including The Paul Daniels Magic Show, Midlands Today, ATV Today, as well as appearing on The Adventure Game with Graeme Garden, Carol Chell and Lesley Judd on 2 November 1981.

In December 2006, almost 25 years after his first appearance on TV, Hammond appeared on It Started With Swap Shop and solved the Rubik's Cube in 36 seconds.


Hammond wrote the book How To Solve The Cube in 37 Seconds, published by DRG Blackhall in 1981.

The book describes the various techniques that Hammond uses to solve the cube. It is based on the bottom, middle, upper layer approach and includes tables to help improve speed. The book also includes a simple, five move, solution to solve the Rubik's Cube[3].


Hammond founded NJH Security Consulting, a company specialising in performing Internet security audits for banks, stockbrokers, stock markets in 1996. He also started Intelligent Shopping, a company that created software for purchasing highly secure products over the Internet in the same year. Both companies were sold to Internet Security Systems in 1999.[7] He is semi-retired.

Field hockey[edit]

Hammond started the Georgia Field Hockey Association (GFHA) in February 1991. He was one of the English speaking stadium announcers for hockey in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and announced the men's final. He umpired a friendly women's international game between Spain and USA in 1995.


Hammond started playing competitive bridge in 2002. At the 2010 world championship meet in Philadelphia, he and Willem van Eijck entered two events and finished 13th in the World IMP Pairs Championship.

He won the Sally Young Life Master Open Pairs at the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) National tournament in Atlanta in 2005.[8] Hammond finished second in the Victor Daly KO Teams event at the summer American Bridge Association (ABA) national event in 2006. In 2006, Hammond won the Mini-Spingold II KO teams event at the ACBL National tournament in Chicago. His team was runner-up the previous year.[9]


  • Hammond set up the security of the world's first Internet bank and made the first Internet web banking transaction (paying a phone bill on 15 August 1995).[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hofstadter, Douglas (June 1986). Metamagical Themas. New York: Bantam Books. pp. Page 325. ISBN 0-553-34279-7.  This book contains reprints from Hofstadter's Scientific American 1981–1983 articles.
  3. ^ "Hot-Selling Hungarian Horror". TIME Magazine (TIME). 23 March 1981. Retrieved 17 February 2007. 
  4. ^ Singmaster, David (Autumn 1981). Cubic Circular 1. David Singmaster. Retrieved 17 February 2007. 
  5. ^ Singmaster, David (Autumn 1982). Cubic Circular 5. David Singmaster. Retrieved 17 February 2007. 
  6. ^ Hammond, Nicolas (1981). How To Solve The Cube in 37 Secords. Derby, UK: DRG Blackhall. pp. Page 19. 
  7. ^ "ISS Extends ePatrol Managed Services – Launches Scanning Service to Deliver Remote Security Assessment Solutions" (Press release). Internet Security Systems. 27 September 1999. Retrieved 18 February 2007. 
  8. ^ Daily Bulletin (PDF) 77–3 (3). 24 July 2005. 
  9. ^ "Daily Bulletin" (PDF). ACBL Daily Bulletin 78–9 (9). 22 July 2006. 

External links[edit]