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Nigeria’s Chess Champ, Tunde Onakoya, Nearing 16-Hour Mark in Record-breaking Bid

Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess champion, is on a mission to set a new world record for the longest unbeaten chess marathon, and he is off to a strong start.

Updating his followers on Thursday morning, Onakoya revealed that he has surpassed the 16-hour mark in his marathon chess match.

His goal? To play for an impressive 58 hours straight, aiming to break the existing record.

In a post on his social media account, Onakoya expressed determination, saying, “16 hours in, 42 to go. There’s no stopping till we hit our target.”

Beyond Boders recalls that the marathon commenced on April 17 at 10 am in New York City’s Times Square and is set to conclude on April 19 at 8 pm.

Onakoya shared his motivation for the attempt earlier this month, stating, “Doing this for the dreams of millions of children across Africa without access to education.”

The current record, standing at 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 seconds, was achieved by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad of Norway in November 2018.

Numerous Nigerian dignitaries have thrown their support behind Onakoya, offering their encouragement and best wishes for his record-breaking endeavour.

“Dear Tunde, best of luck in Times Square… Your resilience and spirit inspire us all. Remember your own powerful words: ‘It is possible to do great things from a small place,” former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo wrote, sharing a photo of himself playing chess with Onakoya on his X account.

Osinbajo wrote: “Let the dynamic energy of Times Square amplify the greatness that you, a proud Nigerian, bring to the chessboard. We’re all behind you—show the world the strength and determination you are made of!”

“I join millions of Nigerians at home and abroad… Your can-do spirit thus far has been truly inspirational. I am rooting for you to break new ground,” another former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, also wrote.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu also wrote on his X account: “Every grand victory starts with a single, bold move akin to a daring gambit—a bold move to redefine possibilities.

“@Tunde_OD; Lagos is rooting for you as you attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon at Times Square in the heart of New York.

“Taking the story of the phenomenal work you started in Lagos with young children to a global stage is a powerful testament to how greatness can emerge from anywhere. #ChessMarathonForChange”

Fellow Nigerians from various parts of the globe are also coming together to support Mr. Onakoya.

He kicked off the marathon, captioning it “Game time” on his social media account, and noted, “We haven’t even started yet and Nigerians are already trooping into camp out with me.”

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