Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos state, has offered moral support to Tunde Onakoya, the founder of Chess in Slums Africa, who is attempting to break the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest chess marathon.


Onakoya commenced the exercise on Wednesday at Times Square, New York City, US.

The chess expert aims to play different games for 58 hours without losing a single game. He is only allowed five-minute breaks every hour during the course of the attempt.

In a statement via X, Sanwo-Olu commended Onakoya for “taking a bold move to redefine possibilities” as he targets the GWR record.


The governor also described Onakoya’s ‘Chess in Slum Africa’ initiative as evidence that “greatness can emerge from anywhere”.

“Every grand victory starts with a single, bold move akin to a daring gambit—a bold move to redefine possibilities,” he wrote.

“@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.”

On his part, Yemi Osinbajo, the former vice-president, in an Instagram post, urged Onakoya to “show the world the strength and determination you’re made of”.

Similarly, Atiku Abubakar, another former vice-president, wrote: “Dear @Tunde_OD, I join millions of Nigerians at home and abroad in wishing you the best in your quest to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Chess Marathon. Your can-do spirit thus far has been truly inspirational. I am rooting for you to break new ground. -AA”.

The longest chess marathon stands at 56 hr 09 min 37 seconds.


Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, two Norwegians, set the record on November 11, 2018.

Announcing the attempt, Onakoya said he hopes to empower illiterate children across Africa through the feat.

“Doing this for the dreams of millions of children across Africa without access to education. You guys have been rock solid for me through the years,” he said.

“So I need all of us to come together now more than ever to show the world that the Nigerian spirit is unwavering and we can do great things from a small place against all odds.”


As of the time of this report, Onakoya has played chess for over 10 hours.

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