Nigerian chess master, Onakoya, US counterpart, Martinez team up in marathon record

Nigerian chess master, Tunde Onakoya and his United States counterpart, Shawn Martinez, are both attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

The challenge, which has currently exceeded 23 hours, is underway at New York City’s iconic Times Square and is scheduled to end on April 19.

Onakoya’s foundation, Chess in Slums Africa, a nonprofit organisation that aims to foster the development of underprivileged children through chess education, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

The statement titled, “Chess in Slums Africa: Clarification and Updates on Tunde Onakoya’s Guinness World Record Attempt”, stated the rules of the challenge as outlined by Guinness World Records.

It read in part, “This record attempt requires a team of two players. Tunde Onakoya (NG) will be facing off against Shawn Martinez (US) for the challenge. Both players hold the title of National Masters.

“Shawn Martinez, a US National Master, renowned New York City chess legend, and chess coach, poses as a formidable adversary. Both Tunde Onakoya and Shawn Martinez will hold the record title.”

It further stated that the record is for the longest time to continuously play chess, and both players must play against each other for the same duration.

It added, “This record is for the longest time to continuously play chess. This record is to be mentioned in hours, minutes, and seconds. This record is to be attempted by a team of two players.

“The same player must play against each other for the same duration. The attempt must take place in a public place/venue open to public inspection. Five minutes rest is allowed for every continuously completed hour of activity (these can be accumulated).”

The statement reiterated that Onakoya’s goal is to engage in uninterrupted play for 58 hours against his opponent, Martinez, as the purpose of the attempt is to raise $1,000,000 to empower more children across Africa.

It added, “The goal is to raise $1,000,000 to empower more children across Africa through the work we do @chessinslumsafrica and @thegiftofchess.

“Recognised donation platforms for official information: @chessinslumsafrica (IG, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), @thegiftofchess (IG, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), @tunde_OD (Twitter), @tunde_onakoya (IG).”

Onakoya’s manager, known as Taiwo with the X handle “OgaBoxx,” had earlier revealed that he (Onakoya) is playing two sets of games simultaneously, and opponents in the second set are random players.

He also noted that only the match against Shawn Martinez is considered valid for the record; hence, “both players must play through to the end and share the record.”

According to the Guinness World Records, the longest chess marathon for 56 hours, 09 minutes, and 37 seconds was achieved by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad from Norway on November 11, 2018.

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