A man disguises himself as a woman to compete in the Kenyan Chess Championship
A Kenyan man has been caught disguising himself as a woman to compete in that country’s chess tournament.
Stanley Omondi25, admitted to registering under the name Millicent Awour to compete in the women’s division of the Kenya Open Chess Championship in Nairobi, mentioned chess.com and the BBC channel.
Pictures obtained by the media are shown Omondo wears a niqab and an abaya to hide her identity.
Omondi wrote in a letter of apology that he was in “financial need” but “willing to accept all consequences” of his deception. The tournament, which took place last week, had a total prize pool of nearly $42,000.
Bernard Wangala, president of the Kenya Chess Club, told the BBC that Omondi was likely to be banned for “several years” before he is allowed to return to the sport.
“In the beginning, we didn’t have any doubts, because wearing the hijab is normal,” Wangala told the British Network.
Wangala said officials were tipped off about the scheme because of Omondi’s shoes and the fact he beat “very strong players”, making it unlikely that the opponent was a chess novice.
“We also noticed that he wasn’t talking, even when he came to pick up his mark, he couldn’t talk, usually when you play you talk to your opponent,” Wangalla added.
Omondi was eventually eliminated after the fourth round of the tournament after defeating Ugandan Ampera Shakira. They took him to a back room and asked for identification papers.
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