Nigerian chess master and founder of Chess in Slums Africa Tunde Onakoya breaks the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

Live in New York’s iconic Times Square the 29-year-old aimed to play for 58 consecutive hours and raise $1million dollars for charity in the process. Funds raised will go towards supporting chess education for millions of children.

Onakoya learned to play chess at a barber’s shop in a slum in Ikorodu, Lagos. He would later be ranked as the number 13 chess player in Nigeria. He credits chess with saving him from the overwhelming poverty he faced growing up in Lagos.

For Tunde, using the game of chess as a social development tool was never an option, but the only choice. His vision which founded Chess in Slums have resulted in immeasurable impact that has elevated the status of children from poor communities.

As a result of using chess as a tool for socioeconomic transformation, his organisation has succeeded in securing lifelong scholarships for more than two hundred Children.

Thousands have shown their support online with messages of encouragement pouring in from Nigeria and abroad. Including the Nigeria’s Vice-President Kashim Shettima, and the Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Hundreds of supporters showed up to cheer on the chess master, including Nigerian Afrobeat star Davido who made a personal appearance.

After playing for 58 consecutive hours, beating the previous Guiness world record of 56 hours, which was set by Norwegian duo Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad in 2018, he was still at the board.

At least $100,000 USD has been raised during the game.

The inspiring chess master played against Shawn Martinez, an American chess champion, in line with Guinness World Record guidelines that any attempt to break the record must be made by two players who would play continuously for the entire duration.

Tunde 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.