The Fridrich (CFOP) System is an advanced layer-by-layer solution which is generally thought to have been standardised in the 1980's by Jessica Fridrich. It has stood the test of time, and is easily the most popular speedcubing system in use today, owing to the fact that it allows very fast times whilst being relatively simple to learn and understand.
The Fridrich System is a 4 Stage solution; the 4 stages being Cross, First 2 Layers, Orient Last Layer, and Permute Last Layer. The second stage can be further broken down into 4 steps, giving a 7 step solution. I have described the 4 stages in detail below, and for each stage I have dedicated a section on the website to help you fully understand and master the CFOP System.
Best of Luck! - DanH
The very first stage in this system is to locate and solve the 4 edge pieces which make up the Cross. The Cross is so called because when the 4 edge pieces are solved, a cross pattern is formed on the Down face (or wherever you decided to solve it, I advocate solving the Cross on the Down face throughout this tutorial). This is an intuitive step and requires no algorithms, but can always be solved in 8 moves or less.
During this stage, you locate a "pair" (simply a corner piece that belongs in the First Layer, and the corresponding edge piece that belongs above it in the Second Layer), and you use an algorithm to solve these pieces into the correct "slot" (the name for the area in which the solved pair resides). You need to solve 4 pairs in order to complete the First 2 Layers, known as the F2L, and there are 41 algorithms to learn (42 configurations including the solved case).
To finish the cube after solving the F2L, you will need to solve the Last Layer. This is accomplished in 2 stages, the first of which is the Orient Last Layer stage, known as OLL. During this step, you will correct the Orientation (corner twist and edge flip) of every piece in the Last Layer, which results in the U face being solved, but not the U Layer. This is the toughest stage to learn, and many feel that mastering it is the turning point from being a beginner to becoming an expert. There are 57 cases to learn in this stage.
The final stage in the System. During this stage, you will correct the positions of each cubie in the Last Layer, without changing their Orientation. This results in a completed Last Layer, and therefore a solved cube, provided you have kept the F2L in tact. This stage has the longest sequences to learn, since you have the least freedom with which to move the pieces around. There are however, only 21 cases to learn.
If you have a pattern on your cube that you cannot find a solution for, or if you are looking to improve your knowledge of specific CFOP cases, then try out the Algorithm Finder!
All 119 cases in the CFOP System are listed, and you can match the pattern you have to the pattern in the list, click on the image, and you will be taken straight to the relevant page containing all the info.
In this section you can find links to convenient printer-friendly pages for you to print out at home and use when you are not at your computer. There are printable pages for every stage in the CFOP system that uses an algorithmic set.