Chess robot breaks opponent’s finger

A robot taught to play chess broke the finger of a seven-year-old boy during a match in Moscow.

Jul 25, 2022, updated Jul 25, 2022
Photo supplied

Photo supplied

The chess match took place last week according to Moscow Chess Federation’s Sergey Lazarev, with a video shared on social media showing the robot apparently mistaking the boy’s finger for a chess piece.

In the CCTV footage, initially published last week on the Telegram platform, two adults can be seen rushing to help the boy before he is  eventually freed.

“The robot broke the child’s finger,” Lazarev told Russian news outlets.

“This is of course bad.”

Jesus… A robot broke kid‘s finger at Chess Tournament in Moscow @elonmusk @MagnusCarlsen

There is no violence in chess, they said.

Come and play, they said.

— Russian Market (@runews) July 21, 2022

Lazarev said the robot had been rented as part of the Moscow Open chess tournament and had been exhibited “in many places for a long time”.

He said the machine had played many previous matches without incident and that the Moscow Chess Federation had no responsibility for the robot.

“The child made a move and after that, we need to give time for the robot to answer, but the boy hurried, [and] the robot grabbed him. We have nothing to do with the robot,” Lazarev added.

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Meanwhile, Vice President of the Russian Chess Federation Sergey Smagin told Russian outlets the child “apparently” violated safety rules.

“There are certain safety rules and the child, apparently, violated them. When he made his move, he did not realise he first had to wait,” Smagin said.

“This is an extremely rare case, the first I can recall.”

It is unclear whether the boy was given any safety instructions before playing with the robot.

TASS news agency reports the boy returned to finish the final days of the tournament in a cast.

“The child played the very next day, finished the tournament in a cast, and the volunteers helped to record the moves,” Lazarev said, adding the organisation would try to help the family.

“The robot operators, apparently, will have to think about strengthening protection so that this situation does not happen again.”

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