Nigerian, American chess masters stage world-record attempt with 60-hour marathon in NYC

A chess champion and educator took their shot at setting the world record for the longest chess marathon by playing for over 60 hours.

Tunde Onakoya played Shawn Martinez in Times Square for two and a half days straight beginning Wednesday and finishing early Saturday morning, according to CNN.

Onakoya, who is from Nigeria, aimed to raise $1 million for Chess in Slums Africa — a charity he founded in 2018 that teaches children about the game across the continent — during the marathon.

Martinez, an American chess master and coach from Brooklyn, played with Onakoya through the 60-hours to conform to Guinness World Record organization's definition of a chess marathon.

The pair had originally planned to play for 58 hours but pushed on to complete two more.

USA TODAY reached out to Onakoya and has yet to receive a response.

The Guinness World Record organization has not confirmed the new record and has not commented on the attempt publicly. The organization currently recognizes a 56-hour marathon played between Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad of Norway as the record.

USA TODAY reached out to organization Sunday and did not receive a response.

Onakoya displays board brilliance

Onakoya received wide acclaim from the chess community and officials in Nigeria during and after the marathon.

"I celebrate this Nigerian Chess Champion and founder of Chess in Slums Africa for his rare feat, but especially for the reason driving this compelling demonstration of character, which is raising funds for African children to learn and find opportunity through chess," Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu said in a statement.

The marathon was not Onakoya's first demonstration of brilliance behind the board this year.

In February Onakoya played 10 simultaneous games at the Digital–Life – Design conference in Berlin, winning all 10. The demonstration raised enough money to fund the education of 100 children at the Chess in Slums Africa academy, according to a LinkedIn post written by Onakoya.

"The beauty of chess really is in the way it connects us as a universal language regardless of our background," Onakoya wrote at the time.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya's 60-hour marathon record attempt