Tunde Onakoya sets new Guinness World Record after playing chess for 58 hours without losing a game

Tunde Onakoya

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) on Saturday commended Nigeria’s Tunde Onakoya for setting a new Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest chess marathon.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Onakoya played with an Amercian chess champion, Shawn Martinez, for 58 hours continuously without losing a game at the New York City’s Times Square, USA.

By this, he cancelled the 2018 record of 56 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds, set by Norwegians Hallvard Haug Flatebo and Sjur Ferkingstad.

FIDE Vice-President, Olalekan Adeyemi, told NAN in Ibadan that Onakoya, 29, had been consistent over the years with his support for chess and the Nigerian kids on the streets.

“I’m not surprised about this feat because he’s very committed to what he’s doing.

“When he started Chess in the Slum, I was part of the movement, and he’s shown tremendous commitment over the years to the course of taking children off the streets with chess,” he said.

Describing his passion as laudable, Adeyemi says FIDE congratulates him because “This is a milestone that has been achieved in chess, and not just in Nigeria but globally.

“He has brought awareness for chess to a high level; people are donating to the course, and this, of course, will bring about a turnaround for chess,” he said.

He added that the feat will undoubtedly give hope and a brighter future to young ones in Nigeria and the African child in general.

“Prior to this, he had used chess to take kids off the streets in Oshodi in Lagos and Mokola in Ibadan.

“I’m sure with more resources at his disposal, he is going to do much more.

“Many street kids across Nigeria will benefit from this project of giving them a better life, which is the goal of Chess in Slums Africa.

“It is a win-win for all of us, as Nigerian kids are the sole beneficiaries,” he said.

NAN reports that apart from setting a new record, he attempted to use the opportunity to raise $1 million for the education of African children across the world.

The world, however, awaits official statement from GWR over the record-breaking feat. (NAN)