Checkmate! Nigerian ‘chess master’ aiming for 58 hours of play

(19 Apr 2024)
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New York City, New York, USA. 18th April 2024.

1. 00:08 Various of Tunde Onakoya, Nigerian chess and child education advocate, standing in New York City’s Times Square
2. 00:18 Wide pan of Times Square
3. 00:25 Various of Tunde Onakoya playing chess in Times Square in a bid to break the chess marathon world record
4. 01:22 Tunde Onakoya’s name inscribed on a chess board

SOURCE: Associated Press

Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess champion and child education advocate, is bidding to break a world record for the longest chess marathon.

He iis making the attempt in New York City’s Times Square where he aims to play the royal game nonstop for 58 hours.

Onakoya, 29, has an even bigger goal beyond the Guinness World Record. He wants to raise money to fund education for vulnerable children across Africa.

His attempt started on Wednesday when he began playing with Shawn Martinez, an American chess champion.

His support has swelled up online and at the scene where a blend of African music is keeping onlookers and supporters entertained amid cheers and applauses.

The record attempt is “for the dreams of millions of children across Africa without access to education,” said Onakoya, who founded Chess in Slums Africa in 2018 with the initial goal to mobilize support for the education of at least 1 million children in slums across Africa.

The current chess marathon record is 56 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds, achieved in 2018 by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, both from Norway.

The record guidelines state that it must be attempted by two players who would play continuously for the entire duration with only five minutes of rest allowed for every hour, which can be accumulated.

“The support has been overwhelming,” said Taiwo Adeyemi, Tunde’s manager. “From Nigerians in the US, global leaders, celebrities and hundreds of passersby have lent support in different ways,” he said of the exercise being witnessed by Guinness World Records.

Onakoya’s attempt is closely followed in Nigeria where he regularly organizes chess competitions for young people living on the streets to mobilize support for their education and help reduce the more than 10 million children out of school in the West African country – one of the world’s highest rates.

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Author: admin