The competitive chess world had a controversial 2022, and another scandal erupted last week at a women’s tournament in Kenya.

Stanley Omondi participated in the Kenyan Open Chess Championship dressed as a woman in a full niqab and worked his way through the tournament until he competed against Gloria Jumba and Ampaira Shakira, according to news.au.com. Omondi was able to beat both Jumba, a former national champion, and Shakira, one of Uganda’s top players, which raised suspicions.

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A general view of the atmosphere at the World Chess Championship at Somerset House on September 20, 2012 in London. (Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala told BBC Sport that a person wearing the full-body suit with their face covered was normal, but for an unknown player to beat two of the world’s best chess players was wildly unusual.

“At first we didn’t have any suspicions, because wearing a hijab is normal,” Wanjala said. «But along the way, we noticed that he won against very strong players…and it’s unlikely that he’ll have a new person who has never played a tournament.» [being very strong].»

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Wanjala added that Omondi was wearing «masculine» shoes and did not speak during the tournament.

«One of the red flags we also noticed [was] the shoes, I wore more masculine than feminine shoes,» he added to BBC Sport. “We also noticed that she didn’t talk, even when he came to pick up the tag from him, he couldn’t talk, normally, when you’re playing. , you talk to your opponent… because playing a game of chess is not war, it is friendship».

Officials were reportedly afraid to report Omondi at first for fear of accusations of profiling, but when they did report him, he came clean.

Omondi registered as Millicent Awor. She admitted to her transgression in a letter, saying that she was in «financial need.»

Pieces are placed on a chessboard at the Kreuzberg Summer Werner Ott Open at the Berlin Kreuzberg Chess Club.

Pieces are placed on a chessboard at the Kreuzberg Summer Werner Ott Open at the Berlin Kreuzberg Chess Club. (Andreas Gora/Images Alliance via Getty Images)

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He added that he was «ready to accept all the consequences.»