Intellectual Games, World Nomad Games

Not all sports at the World Nomad Games require brawn - some require brains. The intellectual games test players’ strategical thinking and teamwork, and build skills that would have been necessary to go to war in ancient times.


Ordo was originally a game used to prepare warriors. The name of the game comes from the word for the general headquarters of the khan’s palace, and the game is a sort of military map, where players must strategize how to best dethrone the khan. A large circle is drawn on the ground, which represents the borders of the khanate, and a large vertebrae in the center represents the khan. Players must work together and strategize how best to throw bones in order to dethrone the khan. Ordo is not only played at the World Nomad Games, but is also popular and widely played across Kyrgyzstan, and large holidays will always feature games of ordo in public spaces.

Mangala and toguz korgool

Mangala and toguz korgool are similar games, both played around the world, that emphasize strategy and forward thinking. The game requires a board with many smaller wells and two larger storage wells. The game starts with stones placed equally in the smaller wells, which players then pick up and distribute according to specific rules. The goal is to move the stones into one’s storage well, and the player with the most stones in their storage well at the end of the game is the winner. Both mangala and toguz korgool require players to strategize their every move and decision, and to think several moves in advance in order to stay ahead of their opponents.