Kenya chess: Male player dons disguise to compete as woman

It was a bold gambit by the 25-year-old Kenyan chess player to disguise himself as a woman to compete in his country’s female open chess tournament.

Dressed head to toe in a burka and wearing spectacles, Stanley Omondi had registered himself as Millicent Awour.

But Omondi’s daring move was exposed as the organisers got suspicious by the unknown player’s success.

In his defence, he later wrote in an apologetic letter seen by the BBC that he had “financial needs”.

He also said that he was “ready to accept all consequences”. Omondi did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

Chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala said that while he was likely to get a ban of “several years”, he would not be excluded from chess for ever.

“We didn’t have any suspicion at first, because wearing a hijab is normal,” Wanjala told BBC Sport Africa.

“But along the way, we noticed he won against very strong players… and it will be unlikely to have a new person who has never played a tournament [being very strong].”

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