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  Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya made headlines worldwide on Saturday with his extraordinary achievement: setting a new world record in chess by playing for the longest duration ever recorded! Onakoya shared this incredible news with the world through his official X account, capturing the hearts and attention of enthusiasts everywhere.
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In his celebratory post, Onakoya’s enthusiasm was contagious as he rallied his supporters, declaring, “Hey everyone, we did it! Now, we’re going for 60 hours! We won’t stop now. Let’s keep going.” His motivation transcended personal achievement, as he emphasized the noble cause behind his endeavour – raising funds for the education of underprivileged African children. Onakoya’s heartfelt message resonated deeply, emphasizing the transformative power of love and collective action in making a positive impact on the world.

Record Broken

Onakoya’s remarkable feat surpassed the previous record held by Norwegian players Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, who clocked in 56 hours and 9 minutes of continuous playback on November 11, 2018. Taking place amidst the bustling energy of New York City’s iconic Times Square, Onakoya’s current challenge has already surpassed the 56-hour mark, firmly establishing him as the new record holder and setting a new benchmark in the world of chess. Beyond competitive play, this marathon holds a deeper significance. It serves as a powerful platform to raise awareness and funds for providing educational opportunities to disadvantaged children across Africa – a cause close to Onakoya’s heart. As the founder of Chess in Slums Africa, Tunde Onakoya has long been dedicated to improving access to education for marginalized communities, and this record-breaking endeavour is proof of his commitment to this cause.
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But Onakoya didn’t embark on this journey alone. Teaming up with Shawn Martinez, a fellow chess enthusiast and US National Master, the two players faced off against each other, adding an extra layer of excitement and camaraderie to the challenge. Martinez’s renowned expertise and coaching prowess further elevated the intensity of the match, highlighting the global collaboration and unity fostered by the game of chess. The outpouring of support for Onakoya’s record-breaking endeavour has been truly inspiring, with prominent figures such as President Bola Tinubu, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and musicians Davido and Adekunle Gold lending their voices to the cause. Their endorsement underscores the universal significance of Onakoya’s mission and the collective responsibility to uplift and empower the next generation. Before embarking on this monumental endeavour on April 17th, Tunde Onakoya spoke passionately about his motivations, emphasizing his desire to provide opportunities for millions of African children who lack access to quality education. His ultimate goal is to raise $1,000,000, a lofty yet attainable target that will make a significant difference in the lives of countless disadvantaged children across the continent. As donations continue to pour in, each contribution brings them one step closer to realizing this noble goal. With every dollar raised, Onakoya’s record-breaking feat takes on even greater significance, symbolizing not only a historic achievement in the world of chess but also a ray of hope for the future of education in Africa.
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Final Thoughts

In the current update, the fundraiser has amassed over $94,000 in donations, proof of the generosity and solidarity of supporters worldwide. However, Onakoya’s Guinness World Record achievement is still pending confirmation by the esteemed adjudicators, awaiting validation of this historic milestone in the annals of chess history.
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This article was first published on 20th 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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