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Game Guide

1. Toguz Korgool is a traditional mancala game played all over the World. Especially famous in Central Asia: Kazakhstan (known as a toguz kumalak), Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It’s also played in some parts of Russia (Altay, Khakassia, Tuva, Tatarstan, Jakutia, Karachay-Cherkassia), by Kyrgyz tribes in northern east of Afghanistan and Van province in Turkey (doguz korgol), Western Mongolia and northern west of China (Urumchy).

2. The origin of the game might be related to the spread of Islam and it’s cultural artifacts. Some Kazakh experts related with Mongols and the Golden Horde (XIV). However, we found some lines about this game in the Kyrgyz epic “Manas”. The epic born out of the heroic efforts of Kyrgyz tribal lords in AD 840.

Lines from the epic "Manas", Sajakpaj Karalaev version (Kyrgyzstan)

Жалпак жыгач чаптырып, Чараларын оюшуп

Бир жагына бир тогуз, Бир жагына бир тогуз,

Үй чыгарып коюшуп…

There are some other lines about the game in Kyrgyz language in second part of epic "Manas" Samynbaj Orozbak uulu (Kyrgyzstan, 1978):

Кыркың кызык ойнотуп, Чатыраш ойнун салыңар,

Тогуз, онуң биригип, Тогуз коргоол алыңар.

Жыйылып алып жыйырмаң,

Топ таш-чакмак алыңар.

Author of the book “Laws of Togyzkumalak” suggests that the game could be 4000 years old: “According to archaeologists the game was invented about 4000 years ago by our ancestors who highlighted the intellectual development of a growing generation along with a physical training.”

3. Toguz Korgool was first described  in the book “Kyrgyz Game – Toguz Kumalak” by Russian ethnographer by N. Pantusov in 1906 and by German anthropologist Richard Karutz in 1911.

4. Kyrgyzstan gained full independence

Toguz Korgool gaing popularity when Kyrgyzstan became indepenent with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. In 1993 the Toguz Korgool Federation of Kyrgyzstan was founded . The Kazakh federation of the game was founded in 2004. An international Toguz Kumalak federation was created four years later. In both countries the game is considered as a national sport.

5. First computer version of Toguz Korgool made by Kyrgyz software engineer K. Kartanbaev with support of the Kyrgyz Information Center "Toktom" in 1999. You can find an electronic version of this game here.

6. There are regular Toguz Korgool (Toguz Kumalak) championships organized in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on local, regional and national levels. The game considered as a national sport therefor its widely promoted at schools, universities and during the different national celebrations.

Apart from it there are also world championships which attract players from all over the world. First Championships out of Central Asia was held in 2006 during the Mindsports Olympiad in London. Later other championships were organized, Istambul (Turkey), Prague (Czech Republic), Ohrid (Macedonia). Toguz Korgool (Toguz Kumalak) World Championships are held in Pardubice (Czech Republic) since 2008 as a part of Czech Open. In addition, there are other tournaments in European countries, including England (London), Germany (Schweinfurt), Switzerland (La Tour-de-Peilz), Spain (Barcelona) and France (Cannes).

7. There are different 5 degrees given to players in Kyrgyzstan: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and candidate Master of Sports. Apart from these degrees there are also two titles for advance players: Master of Sports of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Master of Sports of International class.

8. The European Toguz Korgool Game Club is based in Poznan (Poland). We play Toguz Korgool since 2010.