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Tunde Onakoya achieves 58-hour chess marathon, breaking Guinness record

Posted : 20 April 2024

Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya made headlines on Saturday by achieving a new Guinness World Record for the longest marathon chess game. Announcing this feat on his official X account, Onakoya expressed his determination to extend the record to 60 hours.

In his post, Onakoya declared, "We have done it. We're pushing to 60 hours guys. We're not stopping yet. Let's keep going. We have a fundraising goal to meet for the education of African children around the world. This is our why – the reason we are doing this. Let's demonstrate to the world the incredible power of love. Together, we can make this happen."

Onakoya surpassed the previous record set by Norwegian players Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, who played for 56 hours and 9 minutes in November 11, 2018. The current challenge, taking place at New York City’s Times Square, has already exceeded 56 hours and firmly established Onakoya as the new record holder.

The chess marathon serves as a platform to raise funds and awareness for providing educational opportunities to underprivileged children across Africa, a cause championed by Onakoya’s foundation, Chess in Slums Africa.

In a statement by the foundation, the event features a team of two players, with Onakoya being joined by his US counterpart, Shawn Martinez, a US National Master and renowned New York City chess legend and coach.

"This record attempt requires a team of two players. Tunde Onakoya (NG) facing off against Shawn Martinez (US) for the challenge. Both players hold the title of National Masters. Shawn Martinez, a US National Master, renowned New York City chess legend, and chess coach, poses as a formidable adversary. Both Tunde Onakoya and Shawn Martinez will hold the record title," the statement reads.


Tunde Onakoya breaks world record for longest chess marathon

Prominent figures such as President Bola Tinubu, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and musicians Davido and Adekunle Gold have shown their support for Onakoya's record-breaking endeavor.

Before starting the attempt on April 17, Onakoya expressed his desire to empower underprivileged children across Africa through this achievement. "I'm doing this for the dreams of millions of children across Africa who lack access to education. You guys have been a solid support for me over the years," he stated. He also mentioned that the "ultimate goal" of his attempt is to raise $1,000,000, which will be utilized to improve the lives of disadvantaged children across the continent.

According to a statement, Onakoya's brave endeavor to set a Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon not only showcases his dedication but also serves as a ray of hope for underprivileged children in Africa. "With the primary objective of raising $1,000,000 to enhance the education of these deserving individuals, every donation, regardless of its size, brings us closer to achieving this noble goal," the statement reads. "Let's come together in support of this noble cause. Together, we are not only witnessing a historic moment but also contributing to a cause that empowers and transforms the lives of children. Your generosity and dedication are invaluable as we strive to make a significant impact through the power of chess and education."

As of the time of writing, the fundraiser has collected over $94,000. However, Onakoya's achievement is still pending confirmation by the esteemed British reference book.


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