VIDEO: Chess-Playing Robot Breaks 7-Year-Old’s Finger

Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess

A chess-playing robot broke the finger of its seven-year-old opponent during a recent tournament in Russia.

The incident occurred at the Moscow Open on Thursday. The robot, an AI-powered piece of machinery, reportedly grasped the child’s finger after he attempted to make a move while the robot was still calculating its next move. According to President of the Moscow Chess Federation Sergey Lazarev, the robot apparently mistook the child’s finger for a chess piece and grabbed him.

“The robot broke the child’s finger — this, of course, is bad,” Lazarev told the Russian news outlet TASS earlier this week.

“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 explained.

As seen in the footage, the incident required several adults to intervene before the robot’s grasp could be broken. However, to his credit, the chess player, a young man identified as “Christopher,” returned the next day and completed the tournament.

Lazarev was quick to distance his organization from the ill-tempered robot.

“We have nothing to do with the robot,” Lazarev said. “The robot operators, apparently, will have to think about strengthening protection so that this situation does not happen again.”

Or maybe just don’t have robots?

Sergey Smagin, vice president of the Russian Chess Federation, seemed to feel the child was to blame.

“There are certain safety rules and the child, apparently, violated them. When he made his move, he did not realize he first had to wait,” Smagin said. “This is an extremely rare case, the first I can recall.”

Christopher’s parents may not see it that way. TASS reports that the child’s parents have contacted the prosecutor’s office.


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