Nigerian Chess Master Tunde Onakoya Shatters World Record in Times Square Marathon

Surrounded by a throng of supporters from New York City's vibrant Nigerian community, including the acclaimed Afrobeats sensation Davido, Onakoya remained resolute in his mission to raise $1 million for charity

Under the dazzling lights of Times Square, Nigerian chess prodigy Tunde Onakoya has made history, smashing the record for the longest chess marathon with an astonishing 58 consecutive hours on the board.

Onakoya’s remarkable feat not only showcases his unparalleled dedication to the game but also serves as a beacon of hope for millions worldwide.


Surrounded by a throng of supporters from New York City’s vibrant Nigerian community, including the acclaimed Afrobeats sensation Davido, Onakoya remained resolute in his mission to raise $1 million for charity.

4 His goal? To support chess education initiatives benefiting underprivileged children, a cause close to his heart.

Throughout the marathon, Onakoya’s supporters provided unwavering encouragement, fueling his determination with the pulsating rhythms of Nigerian music and the comforting aroma of traditional dishes like jollof rice.

As his marathon unfolded, viewers from his homeland tuned in via Twitch, showering him with messages of admiration and solidarity.

Commenting on the livestream, one supporter expressed gratitude, writing, “Thank you for daring to dream and showing us the levels to which we can all take our brain power to! Well done Tunde! I’m going to pick up my chess board back haha.”

Such sentiments underscored the profound impact of Onakoya’s endeavor, inspiring others to embrace the power of perseverance and intellect.


Nigeria’s Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, hailed Onakoya as a symbol of excellence and resilience, echoing the sentiments of countless compatriots who watched with pride as he etched his name in history.

Even from afar, the support poured in, with Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu affirming, “Lagos is rooting for you,” recognizing the significance of Onakoya’s achievement as a testament to the boundless potential within every individual.

The previous world record, held by a Norwegian duo, stood at 56 hours, nine minutes, and 37 seconds. However, Onakoya’s unparalleled determination and passion for chess propelled him past this milestone, marking a new pinnacle in the annals of the game.

For Onakoya, chess is more than just a game—it’s a lifeline. Raised amidst the harsh realities of Lagos’s notorious floating slums, he credits chess with providing him an escape from poverty and a pathway to success.

Determined to pay it forward, Onakoya founded Chess in Slums Africa, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering children from disadvantaged communities through the game.

Additionally, as a board member of The Gift of Chess, a U.S.-based nonprofit, Onakoya continues to champion initiatives aimed at bringing chess to underserved communities.

With a bold vision to distribute one million chess sets by 2030, he is committed to transforming lives and fostering a new generation of strategic thinkers.

As Tunde Onakoya basks in the glow of his historic achievement, his journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of passion, resilience, and the unwavering belief in the potential of every individual.

In Times Square, amidst the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, a Nigerian chess master has captured the world’s attention and inspired a legacy that will endure for generations to come.


This article was created using automation and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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