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Electronic Toguz Kumalak to represent Kazakhstan in Prague Championship

21 декабря 2012, 15:00
Software engineers are sure that Kazakhstan-made electronic version of national mind game stands to win. ©Tengrinews
Software engineers are sure that Kazakhstan-made electronic version of national mind game stands to win. ©Tengrinews
Computer version of Toguz Kumalak Game made by Pavlodar software engineers will represent Kazakhstan at the Toguz Kumalak World Championship in 2013, Tengrinews.kz reports, referring to Dastan Kapayev, Kazakhstan Toguz Kumalak national coach.

Toguz Kumalak (nine balls) is a game in the mancala family that is played in Central Asia by two players. There are regular Toguz Kumalak championships held in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. It is estimated that there are about 10,000 organized players and about 200 official trainers in Kazakhstan alone.

The game is played on a special board with two rows of nine holes. There are two "kazan" (literally "kettle") between these rows, which are used to collect captured stones of each user, separately. The players own the kazan in the opponent's side of the board. At the beginning there are nine stones in each hole, except the kazan, which are empty, so players need a total of 162 stones.

“National Toguz Kumalak Federation has made a decision that this computer game will represent Kazakhstan in the 3rd Toguz Kumalak World Championship that will be held in Prague in 2013. The tournament among electronic Toguz Kumalak Games will take place next year in autumn in the Czech Republic,” Kapayev said. He added that there would be one special thing about the forthcoming tournament. Competing softwares will be playing against electronic rivals and not against human ones as it was done before.

The software engineers are sure that Kazakhstan-made electronic version of the national mind game stands to win. “Toguz Kumalak 2012 computer game has been updated and upgraded. None of the versions that have been made earlier could win against Toguz Kumalak Master of Sports, not to mention the prominent International Toguz Kumalak Masters. But now our software can win even against the world champion,” Yernar Shambayev, one of the electronic version's authors said.

International Toguz Kumalak Master of Sport Serik Aktayev and Kazakhstan coach Diana Kenina took part in the making of the game. They patented their invention in October 2010. It took software engineers almost half a year to develop the first electronic version of the game.

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