Men’s chess player Stanley Omondi, who disguises himself with a headscarf to play in the women’s league of the 2023 Kenya Open Chess Championship, faces a lengthy match suspension.
According to Victor Nganye, the Kenyan Chess Disciplinary Committee will begin to investigate the situation, upon receiving a formal complaint from the Executive Committee of the federation led by Bernard Wangala,
If the commission finds Omondi guilty of the offence, Ngani said he would not be banned from the sport for life but expected a lengthy suspension.
“It (the crime) is serious enough to warrant severe punishment,” said the 2018 Kenya National Chess Championship winner and founding president of the Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU).
Previously, we punished some petty offenses, including cheating on age with a six-month ban. With this being a fraud incident, the player will get a long ban if found guilty.”
Omondi disguised the veil to compete in the women’s division of the competition, which drew 444 players from 22 countries in the incident that stunned the local and international chess communities. The Sarit Expo Center in Nairobi hosted the competition from April 5 to April 10.
It completely covered his head, face, and eyes, and the small hole that showed his eyes was covered by glasses.
He didn’t interact with other players like the others did.
Omondi, who entered the competition under the name Millicent Awuor, raised questions only after he easily defeated Uganda’s best player Ampera Shakira (1702) and Gloria Gomba, the former champion in the women’s division of the Kenya National Chess Championship (rank 1487).
Many local chess players competing in the tournament began to wonder where “she” would be during other important national chess tournaments.
He only admitted to being a man after being questioned by tournament judges in a secret room. He also alleged that his university’s financial problems led him to cheat in a competition.
The winning cash prize of 500,000 shillings was something he was planning to take home.
He claimed that because of the fierce competition he avoided playing in the open section, where a million shillings was at stake and was only open to consenting men and women.
He had no chance of winning the open division, which had seven Grand Masters, seven International Masters, seven Fide Masters and five Candidate Masters.
when called The nation’s sportOmondi refused to go into much about the incident, only saying that he was waiting to defend himself before the Kenyan Chess Disciplinary Committee.
But he admitted that he is a good chess player, as he started playing at an early age.
He plays for a prestigious university in the Kenya National Chess League and has a rating of around 1200.
Jumba said she didn’t notice anything suspicious about him the whole time they played.
“I was quite surprised (by telling him he’s a man) because I didn’t notice anything strange about him. He’s a good player because his pieces were very active (well placed on the board) and he always took advantage of the mistakes I made.”