Who made the board of togyzkumalak? How is the promotion of this sport in our country nowadays? What is going on this sphere? 

Togyzkumalak is an intellectual game full of magic, a legacy of ancient Kazakh people!

Archaeologists have discovered that the Togyzkumalak game has a history of four millennia, they found its oldest stone board. Moreover, the name of this togyzkumalak game is also mentioned in Chinese entries. For instance, an ancient ruler of Hunni used methods of this game in order to beat the Chinese army. In this case, you may wonder, 'How can a simple game be used to control a large army of horses?'. In this game, the player can attack his opponent by controlling the balls that he has. Creates a trap. It can shorten the opponent's movement and location.

One of the national sports of the Kazakh people togyzkumalak has interesting rules. Because this game set up for the score. Player of toguzkumalak should calculate how many stones are in the boards and what kind of numbers can be when the balls adds to each other.  And if player counts wrong, he will be beaten. The rules of the game can be so difficult, it needs sometimes more than five to six hours to complete one game.

During the Soviet Empire years, the national culture, including the Kazakh language, religion and mentality, went through difficult times. The togyzkumalak also suffered from colonial unrest. The administrative and command system prevented the development of our national sport from expanding on the grounds that it raises the national spirit. Thus, in the 1960s, a group of intellectuals headed by M.Auezov, K. Kuanyshbayev and K. Kenzhetaev expressed concern over the fate of Togyzkumalak and sent a letter to the Center in 1960. There was written that It is necessary to distribute widely togyzkumalak among the Kazakh people. Thanks to them, in 1974 the Federation of togyzkumalak was established in Kazakhstan. After that, togyzkumalak was officially recognized as a "sport game".

In short, this is the history of the national sport in the Soviet time. Togyzkumalak also rose to a new level of development after getting independence. Improved. So, do you know who made the board of togyzkumalak? I will tell you. This is Serikbai Tileubayev, physicist and mathematician from Zhambyl region. Serikbai Tileubayev did not only update the togyzkumalak board. He simplified the game rules.

One of the students who was taught by Serikbay Tleubekov, is Musrat Yelibakiyev. He helped to produce a blue board. He told: "One day, Serikbai teacher presented me a drawn version of the togyzkumalak board on the paper and said to me:  "This drawing has been in my bag for about a year. I do not have much more money. I went to meet a few people, but it did not work. So, I give it to you. We must publish this". At that time everybody brought their own boards to the togyzkumalak competitions. Everyone's board was different. Sometimes it was not enough. I could not find money for about a year. In 2008, I brought thousands of copies from China. Thus, Serikbai teacher's board is comfortable to use, that is why it was distributed so widely", he said.

The game similar to togyzkumalak is played outside of Kazakhstan. For example, In Africa, there is a game called Omveso that resembles togyzkumalak. It is worth noting that the rules of the game are different in Uganda and the game board is different as well.

Translated by Nazerke Syundyukova  

“The Qazaq Times”