Norwegian Duo’s 61-Hour Chess Marathon

Askild Bryn and Odin Blikra Vea intend to set a new record for the longest chess marathon.

Norwegian Duo’s 60-Hour Chess Marathon: A Herculean Feat or a Fool’s Errand?

In the realm of chess, where mental endurance often trumps physical stamina, a new challenge has emerged that seeks to blend both elements into a grueling test of willpower. Norwegian chess enthusiasts Askild Bryn and CM Odin Blikra Vea have set their sights on a Herculean task: playing chess for 61 hours straight. Their ambitious endeavor aims to shatter the current GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Longest Chess Marathon, an impressive feat held by their compatriots.

Preparation and Planning

Bryn and Blikra Vea’s attempt will push the boundaries of human endurance. Staying awake for 24 hours is challenging enough, but maintaining focus and cognitive function for 61 hours while playing over 300 blitz games is an entirely different beast. The duo’s preparation reflects their serious approach. It involved months of physical workouts, meditation, and extensive blitz practice.

Their journey began with a seemingly whimsical idea a year ago. Since then, it has transformed into a meticulously planned operation, complete with a live stream and an upcoming documentary. This methodical approach is not just about breaking a record. It’s about setting a new benchmark in chess endurance.

The Challenge Ahead

However, the path to this record is fraught with challenges. The official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title currently belongs to Norwegian FMs Sjur Ferkingstad and Hallvard Haug Flatebo, who played for 56 hours and 9 minutes. Nigerian player Tunde Onakoya’s 60-hour marathon in Times Square, though pending official recognition, sets a high bar. Bryn and Blikra Vea’s strategy of sticking to five-minute blitz games could indeed make their attempt more exhausting. The rapid pace leaves little room for rest or error.

The duo’s confidence is buoyed by their intensive training. This included a 28-hour blitz session that left them unfazed and ready for more. Their preparation has even involved advice and matches with GM Magnus Carlsen, adding credibility to their endeavor.

Strategy and Execution

According to Guinness World Records guidelines, participants are allowed five-minute breaks every hour. They can accumulate these breaks for longer rests. This rule will be crucial for Bryn and Blikra Vea, who have meticulously planned their breaks, meals, and rest periods to optimize their performance and stave off the inevitable fatigue.

Despite their confidence, the toll of such an extended session cannot be underestimated. The combination of sleep deprivation and continuous mental exertion is a formidable opponent. Bryn and Blikra Vea plan to combat this by maintaining regular routines. They will get sunlight, take cold showers, and brush their teeth to stay alert.

A Noble Cause

The endeavor is not just about personal glory. It also carries a noble cause, as the duo aims to raise funds for breast cancer research. This altruistic angle adds depth to their attempt. It transforms it from a mere record-breaking bid to a meaningful effort that could inspire and benefit many.


As their marathon begins on June 2 in Stavanger, coinciding with the Norway Chess tournament, the world will watch in anticipation. Will Bryn and Blikra Vea succeed in their quest to push the limits of human endurance and chess mastery? Only time will tell. Their determination and preparation suggest they have a fighting chance.

In a sport where the mind reigns supreme, Bryn and Blikra Vea’s attempt is a testament to the unyielding human spirit. Whether they emerge victorious or fall short, their journey will leave a lasting mark on the chess world. It reminds us all of the extraordinary lengths to which passion can drive us.

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