WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A chess-playing robot grabbed and broke the finger of his 7-year-old opponent in a Russian tournament last week.
- A video released by a Russian news site shows the child struggling to break free from the AI.
- An official said the incident took place because the boy “violated” safety rules.
A chess-playing robot broke the finger of its 7-year-old opponent during the Moscow Chess Open tournament last week.
Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation, told the Russian state news agency Tass that the unfortunate incident happened after the child hurried the artificial intelligence robot.
“The robot broke the child’s finger — this, of course, is bad,” Lazarev said.
Video of the incident went viral on social media after it was posted by the local outlet Baza News.
In the clip, the machine reaches for and grabs one of the boy’s chess pieces, and quickly discards it from the board. However, the boy tried to make another move and pushed one of his rooks into the same place as the recently removed piece before the robot’s arm retracted.
The robot’s mechanical claws descended back toward the board and grabbed the boy’s index finger instead of a chess piece.
The video shows the AI holding the boy’s finger in place for at least 15 seconds before two spectators were able to pry open the claws and release the boy.
“The child made a move, and after that it is necessary to give time for the robot’s response, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him,” Lazarev told Tass on Thursday. He added that the boy continued playing in the tournament with his finger in a cast.
The parents of the boy were determined on getting the prosecutor’s office involved.
“We will communicate, try to sort it out and help in any way we can. And the robot operators, apparently, will have to think about strengthening protection so that such a situation does not happen again,” Lazarev added.
The Telegram post from Baza News identified the boy as Christopher, one of the top 30 chess players in the Russian capital under 9 years old.
The incident got a lot of attention on social media with former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, tweeting “I tried to warn you!” Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster who was beaten by a chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue in a 1997 match.