From Aidoghie Paulinus, New York


Tunde Onakoya, the Nigerian Chess Master, who embarked on a 60-hour Chess Marathon to break the Guinness World Record, has explained why he embarked on the marathon.

 Speaking exclusively with Sunday Sun in Times Square, New York, United States, Onakoya said the momentum was overwhelming. “It is the first time I have ever attempted to do anything like this. So, it does take a lot from one. But I am very determined because this is not about me. I am not doing this for myself, I am doing it for something that is far greater than that. And that has been my greatest drive and motivation.

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“I am trying to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon here in Times Square. The current record is at 56 hours, but we are trying to do 60 hours to smash the record. And we are doing this to create awareness and raise support for the dreams of millions of children in Africa without access to education. So, this is why I am doing it,” Onakoya told Sunday Sun.

Apart from breaking the Guinness World Record, Onakoya further said he set out on the chess voyage to stamp his name in the sands of time that he did something truly remarkable. “Like I said, there is a far greater purpose for this – to bring awareness to an important cause.

“You can see that Nigerians came out, hundreds  of people, people slept here last night (Wednesday, April 17, 2024) just to support this and I can only hope that as people see me, they also see the causes that I care deeply about and the children that we are advocating for because through me, Onakoya added.

Going down memory lane, Onakoya recalled his love for the game of chess which started 19 years ago when he found it in a barbing shop. “I went to school on a scholarship because I could play chess well. Chess gave me exposure and it saved my life a lot of times. And now, I am doing the same thing for these children like me. It is as simple as that,” the chess master stated.