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Nigerian Tunde Onakoya Targets Chess Marathon Record

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Nigerian chess player Tunde Onakoya is attempting a difficult challenge to break the record for the longest chess marathon, at the Times Square in New York, USA.

The Chess marathon world record, recognised by Guinness World records, was achieved in 56 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds, which was set by Norwegian duo Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad in 2018. Onakoya aims to play for 58 consecutive hours and also raise $1m (£805,000) for charity in the process.

The money, he says, will support chess education for millions of children. Onakoya is also a board member of the US non-profit, The Gift of Chess, which works to transform lives through chess and is targeting to distribute one million chess sets to underserved communities by 2030.

Onakoya, who is raising money for The Gift of Chess and Chess in Slums Africa charities, set up a sign-up sheet for challengers. They have included a local pro, a financial industry worker and a chess teacher.

Hundreds of supporters have shown up to cheer on the chess master, including Nigerian Afrobeats star Davido.

The Nigerian community in New York has rallied behind their compatriot, providing Onakoya with music and energising him with supplies of classic Nigerian dishes.

Onakoya’s 58-hour quest to break the Guinness World Record for the longest unbeaten chess marathon began at 10am on Wednesday, April 17th, 2024. He is scheduled to conclude at 8pm on Friday, April 19th.

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