Stanley Omondi, 25, donned a burka as a disguise to enter this month’s women’s chess championship in Kenya, Africa. A strong player who had done well in previous competitions, Omondo registered under the name “Millicent Awour” as he believed his odds of winning the cash prize would be better playing against the women on the roster. Officials said they became suspicious because it was unusual for them to be totally unfamiliar with such a strong player who happened to be wearing “masculine shoes.”
“We also noticed he was not talking, even when he came to collect his tag, he couldn’t speak, ordinarily, when you are playing, you speak to your opponent… because playing a chess game is not war its friendship,” Chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala told the BBC News:
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Despite their reservations, officials allowed him to continue, afraid they might be accused of profiling because of the religious attire and only ejected him in the fourth round.
“When he advanced, after he won a very strong match and we called him, he was not surprised,” according to Wanjala.
“He acknowledged that indeed he is a man. He regrets what happened, apologised and said he was only doing that because he had financial difficulties and thought winning the title will help him overcome.”
Wanjala says that Omondi will likely be banned for playing competitive chess for at least several years.
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