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Chess robot breaks the finger of a 7-year-old opponent

Last week, a chess-playing robot appeared to deliberately break the finger of its opponent: a 7-year-old boy.

The initial attack happened during a match at the Moscow Open and involved one of the top 30 children’s chess players in Russia, The Guardian reported.

Chess officials claimed the robot reacted to a sudden move and blamed the boy for violating safety protocol by acting like a child. But they admitted that it was very “bad” of the robot.

“Exist certain safety rules, and the boy apparently violated them. When he made his move, he didn’t realize that he had to wait first,” Sergey Smagin, vice president of the Russian Chess Federation, told Russian media.

But it was hard to detect any particularly quick movement on the boy’s part in a video of the July 19 attack.

The video shows the child’s finger being pinched by the robotic arm for several seconds before the adults rush to free the child and carry him away.

“The robot broke the child’s finger”, Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation, told the TASS news agency. He pointed out that the machine had played many other competitors without problems.

But “this is, of course, bad,” Lazarev admitted.

Lazarev told TASS that the boy, identified only as Christopher, did not appear “too traumatized” by the attack. He got his finger in a cast and played the next day.

However, his parents have reportedly contacted the prosecutor’s office.


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