Chess Robot Breaks Boy’s Finger After He Rushed His Turn

Popular media has long warned us of the possibility of a dystopian future where intelligent machines go rogue and turn on their human creators. While such concepts remain in the realms of science fiction today, there’s perhaps now some reason for humanity to be a little cautious when dealing with robots.

Credit: Wix

Last week, footage surfaced online of a chess-playing robot apparently breaking the finger of a seven-year-old boy at the Moscow Chess Open in Russia. The incident was first reported by the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, with the 30-second clip later being shared on Telegram by channel Baza.


"The robot broke the child's finger," confirmed Sergey Lazarev, President of the Moscow Chess Federation, to Russian news outlets. "This is, of course, bad."


He noted how the robot, which looks like a giant mechanical arm, had been exhibited in many places before, but this is the first time such an incident has happened.

"The robot operators, apparently, will have to think about strengthening protection so that this situation does not happen again," said Mr Lazarev.


Sergey Smagin, Vice-President of the Russian Chess Federation, meanwhile, explained the boy seemingly rushed his turn, opting for a quick counterattack before the robot could finish its turn. This led it to go rogue and pinch the boy's finger for a few seconds before bystanders quickly rushed in to free him.


"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," said Smagin. "This is an extremely rare case, the first I can recall."

Credit: Baza

It's unclear whether the boy, who was only identified as Christopher, was briefed about the safety instructions when playing with the robot prior to his match. He reportedly suffered a fracture and had his finger put in a cast, but wasn't overly traumatised by the incident and returned the next day to finish the tournament. Volunteers were present to help record the boy's moves.


Despite this, the boy's parents intend to contact the public prosecutor's office and perhaps seek legal action. The Moscow Chess Federation said they would help them in any way they could.

 
  • A short video clip surfaced online of a chess-playing robot apparently breaking the finger of a seven-year-old boy at the Moscow Chess Open in Russia.

  • The incident was confirmed by the tournament's organisers and Russian news outlets, noting the boy suffered a fractured finger.

  • Apparently, the boy rushed his turn, opting for a quick counterattack before the robot could finish its turn, which led it to go rogue and pinch his finger.

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