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  Nigerian chess maestro Tunde Onakoya aims to shatter the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon, driven by a mission to empower African children with limited educational opportunities. Revealed through his X handle, Tunde plans to engage in a remarkable feat: playing chess uninterrupted and undefeated for a staggering 58 hours.
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Scheduled to unfold from 10 a.m. on April 17th to 8 p.m. on April 19th, the ambitious event will transpire in the bustling heart of Times Square, New York City. Onakoya’s announcement on social media ignited a spark of anticipation among enthusiasts and supporters, as he unveiled his audacious goal to set a new benchmark in the realm of chess endurance. In his impassioned plea, Tunde Onakoya rallied Nigerians to unite behind his endeavour, calling upon the indomitable spirit that characterizes the nation. He emphasized the crucial role of collective support in propelling him towards this extraordinary undertaking, highlighting the unwavering solidarity and resilience intrinsic to the Nigerian identity.
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Beyond personal acclaim, Onakoya’s pursuit carries a profound altruistic motive. As the founder of Chess in Slums Africa, he channels his passion for chess into a noble cause: providing mentorship and nurturing the latent talents of underprivileged children. Through this organization, Onakoya seeks to equip marginalized youth with essential life skills and opportunities for personal growth. The current record stands at an impressive 56 hours, 09 minutes, and 37 seconds, achieved by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad from Norway on November 11, 2018. Undeterred by this formidable benchmark, Onakoya embarks on his quest with unwavering determination, fueled by the conviction that he can surpass existing limits and inspire a new generation of chess enthusiasts. As the countdown to the monumental event begins, Onakoya’s endeavour resonates as proof of the boundless potential of human ambition and resilience. His journey transcends the confines of a mere sporting feat, symbolizing a beacon of hope and possibility for countless individuals facing adversity.
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In the spirit of unity and solidarity, Onakoya invites Nigerians and global supporters alike to rally behind his cause, underscoring the transformative power of collective action in effecting positive change. With the world as his stage and a noble mission propelling him forward, Onakoya stands poised to etch his name in the annals of chess history, leaving an indelible legacy for generations to come.
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This article was first published on 17th April 2024


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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