President of the Nigeria Chess Federation, DIG Sani Mohammed (retd.), has congratulated the new Guinness World Record holder for the longest chess marathon, Tunde Onakyoya, following his record-breaking chess feat, describing him as a great chess ambassador, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Onakoya broke the 56 hours, nine minutes and 37 seconds achieved in 2018 by Norwegians Hallvard Haug Flatebo and Sjur Ferkingstad after reaching the 60-hour mark.

He had set out to play the royal game for 58 hours but continued until he reached 60 hours at about 12:40am (04:40GMT) on Saturday, surpassing the previous chess marathon record.

Onakoya arrived in Lagos on Wednesday to a heroic welcome at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and was received by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the Government House in Ikeja.

Speaking with PUNCH Sports Extra on Thursday, Mohammed said the federation was proud of Onakoya

“We as a federation are happy with Tunde Onakoya’s achievement and we are proud of him,” he said.

“It is the best thing that could have happened to us and not just Nigeria but Africa generally. His achievement is something that has never been done before by any African and we want to congratulate him.

“He did it for a good cause and that is why he is being celebrated because he is worthy of the recognition that he is getting. We know him very well and that was why last year we recommended him to the FIDE social commission and that was why during the tournament that we had in Nigeria last year that we had the FIDE president, we took him to Makoko to see the work being done there.

“He is our ambassador and he is worth celebrating.”

The Nigerian chess master embarked on the marathon hoping to raise $1m for children’s education across Africa through the record attempt.

During the record-breaking marathon game, Onakoya played against Shawn Martinez, an American chess champion, in line with Guinness World Records guidelines that any attempt to break the record be made by two players who would play continuously for the entire duration.

For every hour of game played, Onakoya and his opponent got only a five-minute break.

Despite facing health challenges during the marathon, including intense vomiting and stomach pain, Onakoya remained steadfast.