Stanley Omondi, a Kenyan man, has made headlines in the US after disguising himself as a woman to participate in the 2023 Kenya Open Chess Championship.
Kenyan who disguised himself as woman to win cash prize makes headlines in US
Stanley Omondi confessed to cheating in the tournament, explaining that he participated because he was in dire need of the prize money.
The tournament ran from April 6 to April 10, at the Sarit Expo Center in Nairobi.
Omondi entered the women's section of the tournament wearing a hijab and niqab to conceal his identity, and registered under the name Millicent Awuor, fooling tournament staff.
Despite initial caution from staff members who assumed he was a Muslim woman, Omondi's unusual walking style and the shoes he wore raised suspicion among fellow competitors.
His cover was eventually blown after he managed to beat top female players like former national champion Gloria Jumba and Ugandan top player Ampaira Shakira.
The Kenyan Chess Federation President, Benard Wanjala, condemned Omondi's actions, saying they were unnecessary and unfortunate.
He added that the tournament is meant to bring up upcoming and talented young players in the country, not to tarnish the good image of chess.
The story has gained significant attention in the US, with news outlets like the New York Post and Chess.com reporting on the incident.
Many are questioning why Omondi went to such lengths to participate in the womens tournament.
The Kenya Open tournament for this year has a prize fund of $42,000.
In the women's section, there are 10 prizes, with the first prize amounting to Sh500,000.
Meanwhile, the open section features seven international grandmasters and offers a first prize of Sh1 million.
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