A Nigerian chess champion is trying to break the world record for the longest chess marathon | ANG
  • May 29, 2024

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Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya is making waves in New York’s Times Square as he attempts a record-breaking chess marathon.

His goal is to play for 58 consecutive hours and raise $1m (£805,000) for charity, specifically for chess education among children. With hundreds of supporters, including Nigerian Afrobeats star Davido, cheering him on, Onakoya is fueled by the support of his community, both in New York and back home in Nigeria.

In Lagos, Nigeria’s Vice-President Kashim Shettima and Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu are among those rallying behind Onakoya, hailing him as a symbol of Nigerian excellence. On Twitch, viewers from Nigeria and beyond are watching as he strives to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

As of 03:00 New York time (07:00 GMT) on Friday, Onakoya had played for 39 hours and raised over $42,000. Confident in his progress, he aims to continue until at least 20:00 New York time on Friday, surpassing the current record of 56 hours, nine minutes, and 37 seconds.

Chess holds a special significance for Onakoya, who credits the game with rescuing him from poverty in Lagos’s slums. Through his NGO, Chess in Slums Africa, and his involvement with The Gift of Chess, he is dedicated to providing chess education and opportunities to underserved communities, aiming to distribute one million chess sets by 2030.

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