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A chess-playing robot broke a kid's finger

Moscow Chess Open 2022
(Image credit: Moscow Chess Federation)
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A seven-year-old Chess player has had his finger broken by a robot at the Moscow Chess Open, which took place in Moscow from July 13 to July 21. The child, a competitor in the Moscow Chess Federation's youth league, had just had a piece taken by the robot and rushed to make his next move.

That was against the safety rules, apparently. The robot, either not finished moving, or misreading the situation, moved in and crushed his finger, causing a fracture, reports Russian news network TASS. (opens in new tab) The kid was able to finish the last few days of the tournament in a cast, but his parents are reportedly contacting the local prosecutor's office to press charges.

Video from inside the venue of the event in question was obtained by Russian language news Telegram channel Baza (opens in new tab) and has since circulated on Twitter. (opens in new tab) In it, the player moves his piece before the Robot has finished moving its own, apparently trapping his finger. Bystanders rush in to help, and several men manage to free the boy's hand and get him away within a few seconds.

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"The robot broke the child's finger - this, of course, is bad. The robot was rented by us, it has been exhibited in many places, for a long time, with specialists. Apparently, the operators overlooked it. 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. We have nothing to do with the robot," Moscow Chess Federation president Sergey Lazarev told TASS.

A deputy of the Moscow Chess Federation, Sergey Smagin, said that the robot has been playing chess for about 15 years. “This is an extremely rare case, the first in my memory," he told RIA Novosti.

Extremely rare indeed, Sergey.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.