| Lifestyle,

How to beat 10 people simultaneously

Beatrice Lessi

This morning I saw a viral video.

Tunde Onakoya,  a Nigerian Chess Master, walking from one table to another, moving a pawn, winning, graciously shaking hands and doing it allover again. Even his opponents seemed to recognise that what was happening was more than fair, and appreciate it.

I was curious and went to his profile. Here is his latest post:


Dear Dreamer,

Recently, a video of me playing chess against 10 people simoultaneously in Germany has been making rounds on the Internet.  This has brought a lot of attention to me ad I have gained 200k followers across social media from that one video. It has been a little overwhelming for me, but I think it presents a rare opportunity to share a profound lesson.

8 years ago, I quit playing chess professionally. I was a talented kid who had won a number of tournaments and had great dreams and aspirations to become a Grandmaster. I gave up along the line, partly because there was no way to finance this pursuit of personal glory, and most importantly because I had found a deeper calling to use my love and knowledge of chess as a tool to empower children in poverty. I was 21 at the time, so it seemed like such an unwise decision. But I took the road less travelled and it has indeed made all the difference. This birthed The Chess in Slums project that has given thousands of children society often overlooked a fighting chance. 

So I say this to the young, the old, and the extraordinarily talented person reading this: each of you holds a unique talent or skill that sets you apart. When you use this talent solely for your ambitions, it brings you success and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, when you choose to share this gift with others, especially those who may never have the same opportunities, it transforms into something far more powerful: it becomes purpose…

While it may seem extraordinary that one man can play chess against 10 people at the same time, it does pale in comparison to the most significant moves I have ever made – which is dedicating my life and ideas to the service of others…

There is much more to read, and many cheerful and inspiring videos of kids playing chess and changing their lives. I gave a small contribution on their go fund me page, but I don’t think it’s that important. What I found inspiring was the idea of sharing our skills and talents also with others, and not only for ourselves. And I loved to be called Dreamer – of course his message was meant for me, and for you too!

So have a great day, dear dreamer, and let’s all move in the right direction!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy

6 + four =