• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Tunde Onakoya’s world record attempt raises over $33,000 in 24 hours

tunde onakoya world record

Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess master and founder of Chess in Slums Africa has exceeded 24 hours in his attempt to break the world record for the longest chess marathon.

Onakoya has been playing chess with New Yorkers in Times Square to set a new record time of 58 hours unbeaten, which could be exceeded to compensate for the permitted short breaks observed during the chess-a-thon.

He is using the Guinness World Record attempt as a catalyst to raise $1 million to support children in underprivileged communities across Africa with access to education.

So far, Onakoya has played and won over 60 games and raised more than $33,000.

During one of the 5-minute breaks, Onakoya recorded a short message appreciating Nigerians for their support and encouraged more donations to hit the ultimate fundraising goal.

“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for the support. Nigerians we dey always turn up. My energy is at hundred percent right now, because people are here supporting me with music and it’s a very surreal experience,” he said.

“We’re doing this to raise funds for our project to be able to give millions of children with access to education the opportunity they deserve to learn. Let us raise the money that is needed so all of this won’t be in vain. We’re doing this to the very end, we started already. The rest is just a matter of tenacity,” he added.

His chess-a-thon began on Wednesday, April 17 at 11:30am EST and is expected to conclude on Friday, April 19, 2024.

A duo world record

The record for the longest chess marathon of 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 seconds was set by Hallvard Haug Flatebe and Sjur Ferkingstad in Norway in 2018.

The world record requires a team of two players who are expected to play against each other for the same duration. So Onakoya faces off against Shawn Martinez, who is also a national chess master and coach in the US.

Both Onakoya and Martinez will hold the world record title.

Cheering on

Onakoya’s world record ambition has been widely recognised by supportive individuals worldwide who continue to cheer him on to hit the 58-hour mark.

His games are live-streamed on Tittify and Twitch and have achieved over 500 concurrent viewers.

Notably, Onakoya was featured in a New York Times article and has earned the support of Nigerian bigwigs including Yemi Osinbajo and Atiku Abubakar, former vice presidents of Nigeria, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun State, Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings and the UK and US embassies in Nigeria.

Onakoya’s aspiration has sparked tons of engagements on social media. Since his attempt began on Wednesday, his name has remained on top of the Twitter trend table in Nigeria with over 117 thousand mentions.

In New York, Onakoya is visited by hailing Nigerians and supporters backing him to achieve his world record goal.

Peter Lot Egpogija, Nigeria’s Consul-General in New York also showed up to rally support for him.