Togyzkumalak Championship in Germany
Sunday, 21st August 2016
A mancala game from Kazakhstan, Togyzkumalak is played on a board of two rows of nine holes. In late July, players from more than ten countries met in Schweinfurt, Germany, for the European Champsionships of the game.
Historically this game was played across much of central Asia, spreading from Kazakhstan to Mongolia and China in the east, and Afghanistan in the south. The game increased in popularity after the fall of the Soviet Union, though tournaments have been held since 1948.
Togyzkumalak is now supported by governments in the regions that it is played, none more so than in its home country of Kazakhstan. The chairman of its sports committee attended the opening ceremony of the event in Germany, along with the Mayor of Schweinfurt. In the east, China has expressed an interest in hosting the Asian championships.
It will be interesting to follow the cultural progress of this intriguing game. More information on the event and the game itself is available from The Astana Times.