Robot breaks child’s finger during chess tournament

“The robot broke the child’s finger, this, of course, is bad”

At the Moscow Chess Open, which took place from July 13 to July 21, a child had his finger broken by a chess-playing robot.

The robot had just taken a piece from the child, when the boy rushed to take his next move in a gesture seen as against the safety rules. The robot had not finished taking its turn and moved in to crush the child’s finger causing a fracture, according to Russian news network TASS. 

The child’s parents are reportedly contacting the local prosecutor’s office in order to press charges, after the child was forced to finish the tournament in a cast. As the robot is designed solely to move chess pieces, it is likely it did not recognise the appearance of a hand in its path.


WARNING: the following video may be distressing to some

A video from the event has been acquired by a Russian Telegram news channel, Baza, and is now making the rounds on Twitter. The boy moves his piece before the robot has finished its own turn, and moves in, trapping the boy’s finger in the process. Several observers manage to rush in and help and successfully free the child’s hand but not before he sustains a fractured finger. The entire event takes place in under 30 seconds.

Moscow Chess Federation president Sergey Lazarev told TASS: “The robot broke the child’s finger – this, of course, is bad.” He then explains: “The robot was rented by us, it has been exhibited in many places, for a long time, with specialists.”

He then speculates as to how this has been able to take place by saying” “The child made a move, and after that we need to give time for the robot to answer, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him.” Lazarev makes Moscow Chess Federation’s position clear: “We have nothing to do with the robot.”

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