Tunde Onakoya: Nigerian Chess Master Breaks World Record in New York

Nigerian chess master, Tunde Onakoya, has set a new Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

Onakoya, who first set the record with his 58 hour mark, extended it to 60 hours of non-stop chess at Times Square in New York, US.

The Nigerian broke the record of Norwegian players Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, who played for 56-hour, 9-minute in 2018 and aimed at reaching 58 hours target.

After reaching the 58-hour mark, Onakoya wrote on his X handle earlier, “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 is the founder of Chess in Slums Africa, a non-profit organisation established to train children in underprivileged communities in chess and provide them with access to education.

The Nigerian played against US chess champion, Shawn Martinez, which is in line with the Guinness World Records guidelines that any record attempt must be made by two players who would play continuously for the entire duration.

Both players got only five minutes’ break for every hour of game played.

Messages of congratulations have flooded the Internet and social media platforms from Nigerians at home and abroad who were excited to witness their compatriot achieve the new world record.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also congratulated Onakoya on his feat.

In a post on his X handle, Governor Sanwo-Olu wrote, “Congratulations to Chess Master Tunde Onakoya on breaking the world chess marathon record in Times Square, New York. Your journey from Lagos, Nigeria to global recognition embodies the spirit of our great city.”

Sanwo-Olu said Onakoya “continues to demonstrate that greatness can emerge from even the most humble beginnings. His remarkable story serves as a blueprint for all of us in Lagos – a city where his impact has been felt the most, showing that with determination, dreams can indeed soar to monumental heights.”


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