- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2022

A chess-playing robot fractured a Russian boy’s finger during a tournament in Moscow last week.

In a video obtained by the Guardian, the robotic arm can be seen removing a chess piece. 

The 7-year-old boy quickly moves a piece onto the same square, but when he sets it down, the robot moves to grab the new piece and clinches the boy’s finger instead.



Two people can be seen trying to wrest the boy’s finger from the robot’s grip, which took about 15 seconds to do so.

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

Mr. Lazarev went on to say that the robot was rented for the Moscow Chess Open and has been used in many places, though added that the operators apparently overlooked some safety flaws.

“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,” Mr. Lazarev said.

Sergey Smagin, the vice president of the Russian Chess Federation, told a Telegram-based news channel Baza that “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.”

Mr. Lazarev said that the boy finished playing the tournament in a cast the day after the incident on July 19. 

He added that the boy’s parents were interested in contacting the prosecutor’s office about the injury.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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