Chess Robot Breaks Finger Of 7-Year-Old Opponent During Moscow Match


A chess robot grabbed and broke its seven-year-old opponent’s finger during a match in Moscow last week, Russian media reported.

“The robot broke the child’s finger,” Moscow Chess Federation President Sergey Lazarev was quoted as saying by Tass news agency. “This is of course bad,” said Lazarev, who also said that the robot had played exhibition matches in the past too but such an incident was happening for the first time, The Guardian reported.

A video of the July 19 incident shared by Baza Telegram channel shows the robot taking one of the boy’s pieces. As the boy immediately makes his next move, the robot pinches his finger. A woman followed by three men then rush in to free the boy.

The Baza report identified the boy as Christopher, and also said he is one of the 30 best chess players in Moscow in the under-9 category. 

The incident has left people shocked.

‘Extremely Rare’

Explaining what might have happened, Sergey Smagin, vice-president of the Russian Chess Federation, told Baza that the robot appeared to pounce on the boy who had made his move without waiting for the machine to complete its own. He said this was an “extremely rare” case — “the first I can recall”.

Lazarev, however, said the child had made his move, and should have waited for the robot to answer. “…but the boy hurried and the robot grabbed him.” He said the robot’s suppliers would “have to think again” either way.

The boy’s finger was found to be broken, but he was able to play other matches in the tournament in a cast, the Tass report said.

According to The Guardian report, Christopher’s parents have contacted the public prosecutor’s office.