That photo above makes me laugh. It shows 25-year-old Stanley Omondi dressed in a burka as he attempted to win the $3,000 grand prize in a Kenyan women’s chess tournament by posing as female. He looks like Cousin It from “The Addams Family.” See?
Stanley’s black burka left only his feet visible, and he registered under the fake name of “Millicent Awour.” Nobody suspected anything, and the organizers didn’t want to challenge a player for wearing Muslim garb. But his victories against notable female players eventually raised suspicions. “It would be unlikely to have a new person who has never played a tournament to be this strong,” an official told reporters. It also seemed odd that “Millicent” never spoke, either to members of the tournament staff or other players. Eventually, after beating a very strong opponent in the fourth round, Stanley was confronted by officials. He quickly admitted his deception, saying that he was just trying to solve his financial woes.
Now his case has been referred to the international chess federation, and he is expected to be banned from all chess competitions for a year or more. Yes, he cheated, and rules are rules. It is ironic, however, that in chess a biological man is considered to be cheating if he plays against women while pretending to be one, since there is no reason why women and men shouldn’t compete against each other and men have no advantage.
In women’s swimming, wrestling, track, cycling and other sports where having a y chromosome can confer a decisive edge, however, simply identifying as female is enough to make the the competition “fair”in the U.S., and accusations of cheating are regarded as evidence of bigotry.
And you don’t even have to wear a burka!
As Michael Keaton so sagely said in “Night Shift,” “Is this a great country, or what?”
7 thoughts on “Similar To The Transwomen Sports Scam, But Not Really: Cheating, But It Shouldn’t Be”
Well, now, that’s an interesting twist. A tournament where physical strength is not a benefit but mental acuity and game strategy control, he competed against women and defeated them. Now, is it because he is heads and shoulders better than his opponents, regardless of gender/sex? Is there any real difference in game strategy between men and women? I wouldn’t think so. He would probably wipe the floor with me but that’s not saying a whole lot. I haven’t played chess in years and that game isn’t like riding a bike.
On a totally different note, but slightly a propos of this post but is something that is making me crazy, is the declaration that a rock group consisting of three sisters from Mexico called “The Warning” is great because they show that women are great musicians and can rock hard, too. Well, d’uh. Who ever said women couldn’t rock hard?
The Warning is not great because they are women. They are great because they are viciously talented in/on their chosen instruments and rolls, and write and perform excellent songs. Here is a recent concert video of one of their songs called “Animosity”:
I selected this one because it shows that can recreate the energy and intensity of their studio work. There is little studio magic to “clean up” the video’s post-filiming production. Their are some mistakes left in the video which makes it more enjoyable (well, to me anyway . . . ). The drummer is nuts, too, which makes me happy.
I like the line, “If karma doesn’t hate you, then I will.” Awesome.
Now, you may not like their music but they clearly are monster musicians. Yet, the “grrl power” accolades, because they are women playing hard rock, detracts from the quality of their music. Would the music be less interesting if it were performed by men/brothers? No. If it is good, it is good because it is well-written and performed. Hell, even my wife likes them, which is saying something because she usually rolls her eyes at my musical tastes.
The assumption that women are inferior in chess is long-standing; it was a major theme in “The Queen’s Gambit,” which is given much of the credit for the sudden chess craze. Back when I was captain of the high school chess team, my younger sister was openly mocked by the male-only chess teams from other high schools…until she mopped the floor with them. (She was undefeated on two years.) The fact that girls didn’t gravitate to chess like boys was a cultural phenomenon not a genetic one, but old prejudices die hard.
That makes perfect sense why this would be such an issue. The guy is a tool, though. What a jerk.
What did you think of the song I posted?
The assumption that women are inferior in chess is long-standing; it was a major theme in “The Queen’s Gambit,” which is given much of the credit for the sudden chess craze.
Supposedly this is a thing in the e-game community now. It is mostly a male dominated community where sexism runs rampant. I can’t speak to that, but it’s so stereotypical I see it in movies and such. I just watched one last night called 1-Up (Buzzfeed production) where this was the whole theme. It was so over the top, it was cringe.
Still, I wonder how accurate it is. I play in a local competative commander league in my home town. We have a few girls that show up and I always think everyone is super friendly to them. But I see someone of the woman online players complain about how guys are always surprised they can play/good/treated differently. If this was 40 years ago, maybe, but I have never seen this in my own group.
But yeah, I agree. These games are games of skill, not strength. There is no reason they should be segregated. Boys as a whole tend to be more aggressive, good at spatial reasoning, and have better reactions times which help with games of skill, but most of these traits can be learned with practice and be applied equally.
This story is rich. Great find. There’s the whole Muslim thing. Why were they allowed to de-burka this guy? Isn’t that some sort of violation of some Muslim regulation regarding women’s attire? Shouldn’t he just have said he identifies as a woman? What are the International Chess Federation rules on gender? What are the Muslim regulations on gender? Would Lia Thomas be allowed to compete in this competition? HI-larious. This guy should take his case all the way to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Or should I say Millicent should do so? This is why men are going to start playing on the women’s golf tours. That’s where the money is.
I thought you’d like it.
I find the most fearsome part of this article was and is “the organizers didn’t want to challenge a player for wearing Muslim garb. It is becoming clear that fear of offending his particular culture is indeed impeding reason and endangering society. many soldiers lost their lives in VN respecting cultural norms. Women and children were often those who carried the satchel bomb into our midst. I recall an hoc softball game in my compound coming to a fatal end for some when a child who was rooting for us detonated his satchel bomb. I am certain many IED’s and body bombs that killed, and maimed our troops were the handiwork of burka clad “women” and playful children,