Nigerian Chess Master Tunde Onakoya’s Marathon for Children and Charity in Times Square: A Global Celebration of Chess Education

Tunde Onakoya from Nigeria makes an attempt to break the chess marathon record

Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya is currently attempting to break the record for the longest chess marathon in Times Square, New York. His goal is to play for 58 consecutive hours and raise $1 million for charity, supporting chess education for children.

Hundreds of supporters have gathered to cheer him on, including Nigerian Afrobeats star Davido. The Nigerian community in New York has come together to support Onakoya by providing him with music and energizing supplies of classic Nigerian dishes like jollof rice.

Onakoya’s attempt at breaking the record is being watched closely in Nigeria, where people are tuning in on Twitch. By 03:00 on Friday New York time, he had already played for 39 hours and raised over $42,000. He is determined to continue playing until at least 20:00 on Friday, surpassing the Guinness World Record of 56 hours, nine minutes, and 37 seconds.

Onakoya credits chess with helping him escape poverty in Lagos and runs an NGO called Chess in Slums Africa that teaches chess to children in underprivileged communities. He is also a board member of The Gift of Chess, a US non-profit that aims to distribute one million chess sets to underserved communities by 2030.

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