Chess robot breaks the finger of a 7-year-old opponent
A chess-playing robot broke the finger of its 7-year-old opponent during a match at a tournament in Russia.
The boy faced the robot when he accidentally grabbed and broke the child’s finger at the Moscow Open last week, according to local Russian outlets.
“The robot broke the child’s finger – it’s bad, of course,” Moscow Chess Federation President Sergey Lazarev told TASS on Thursday.
The child reportedly made his next move on the chessboard before the robot — a large, automated arm powered by artificial intelligence — had time to recalculate the boy’s finger and mistook it for a chess piece, according to Lazarev.
“The child moved, and after that we have to give the robot time to answer, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him,” he told the outlet in Russian.
Footage of the incident, released by the Baza Telegram channel, shows the mechanical arm snapping onto the boy’s finger for several seconds before adults can step in and detach it from his hand.
The young chess player, named Christopher according to Baza, returned to the tournament the next day and finished his games with a cast around his finger, Lazarev said.
Christopher is one of the top 30 chess players under 9 in Moscow, Baza reported.
The robot, which Lazarev says has been used in many chess tournaments, was rented by the organization for the Moscow Chess Open and can play multiple games at once.
“We have nothing to do with the robot,” Lazarev said. “Apparently, the robot operators need to think about strengthening protections so that this situation does not repeat itself.”
Sergey Smagin, vice-president of the Russian Chess Federation, told Baza that to his knowledge the robot’s misfire was unprecedented.
“There are certain safety rules and the child appears to have broken them. When he made his move, he didn’t realize he had to wait first,” Smagin said. “This is an extremely rare case, the first I can recall.”
According to TASS, the child’s parents have contacted the prosecutor’s office.