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Nigerian chess champion Tunde Onakoya earns $120k streaming 60-hour world record

Posted : 24 April 2024

Nigerian chess champion Tunde Onakoya exceeded $120,000 in funds through live streaming his endeavor to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

At 29, Onakoya, founder of the educational charity Chess in Slums Africa in 2018, arrived in New York City's Times Square on April 17 with the aim of surpassing the previous record set by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, lasting 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 seconds.

His challenge was backed by U.S. chess champion Shawn Martinez, who engaged in continuous gameplay alongside him for the full 60 hours, eventually breaking the record. Both competitors were allowed brief five-minute breaks each hour, ensuring continuous gameplay throughout.

During the marathon, Onakoya's Tiltify fundraiser garnered $126,074.46 for The Gift of Chess, a nonprofit organization established in New York City in 2021, originally distributing chess sets to public schools and now expanding internationally.

The Gift of Chess has distributed approximately 116,000 sets to children in over two dozen countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ghana, and Somalia, aiming to reach 1 million sets globally by 2030.

While Guinness has yet to formally acknowledge Onakoya and Martinez's marathon, the process for record validation can sometimes take weeks, as noted by CNN.

Onakoya's fundraiser remains open for donations to support The Gift of Chess. Following the marathon, he expressed gratitude to New York City and indicated his return home, concluding the memorable event.


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