A university student, who needed cash, disguised himself as a female chess player by donning a burqa and participated in Kenya Open Chess Championship in Nairobi, which boasted an impressive prize fund of $42,000.
How did he get caught?
Omondi registered himself in the chess tournament as Millicent Awuor. At first, he did not arouse suspicion as “wearing a hijab is normal”, said chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala.
“One of the red flags we also noticed was the shoes, he was wearing more masculine shoes, than feminine,” Wanjala told the BBC.
“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.
However, his cover was blown when he beat former national champion Gloria Jumba and Ugandan top player Ampaira Shakira, reported the New York Post.
In a private room, the man was asked for identification, and he eventually came clean, admitting that he was a university student who needed the cash, added the report.
As a result, the imposter player has been kicked out of the competition while all his points have been awarded to his opponents. The tournament, which ran from April 6-10 at the Sarit Expo Center in Nairobi, attracted almost 450 players from 22 federations.