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Chess Robot Breaks Child’s FingerChess Robot Breaks Child’s Finger

Incident occurred when a child competitor reportedly moved too quickly

Scarlett Evans

July 26, 2022

1 Min Read

When one thinks of chess, it’s not often considered a dangerous sport.

However, an incident at the 2022 Moscow Open chess tournament involving a chess robot and 7-year-old competitor resulted in a broken finger, and it wasn’t the robot’s.

The incident occurred when the boy made a move that did not leave adequate response time for the robot. As a result, the robotic arm grabbed the boy’s finger and had to be pried off by four spectators, causing a fracture as a result of its grip.

“The robot broke the child’s finger,” Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation reportedly told Russian news agency TASS.

The incident was caught on surveillance footage and has fast become synonymous with fears over the dangers of robotic aggression.

The robot, which can play with up to four human competitors at once, has been previously rented by the Moscow Chess Federation and has been playing in competitions for 15 years, with no previous such incident.

“This is an extremely rare case, the first I can recall,” Sergey Smagin, vice-president of the Russian Chess Federation, told Baza Telegram. “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.”

While the robot has been deemed safe by the Chess Federation members, the robot’s suppliers have been asked to work on safety aspects.

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