Chess robot breaks child's finger

Occurred: July 2022

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A chess-playing robot has grabbed and broke the finger of a seven-year old competitor during a match at the Moscow Open, according (in Russian) to Tass. The boy played the rest of the tournament in a plaster cast.

Apparently unsettled by the quick responses of his opponent, the robot is seen to have pinched the boy's finger for several seconds before he is freed and led away by a woman and three men.

Russian Chess Federation vice-president Sergey Smagin told Tass the robot appeared to pounce after the boy opted for a quick move after it had taken one of the boy’s pieces, thereby violating 'certain safety rules'.

The Russian Chess Federation declined to say who manufactured the robot, or how it works. Video of the incident shows the machine appears to be a standard industrial robot arm that has been customised to move pieces on three chess boards simultaneously. 

Country: Russia
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Play chess
Technology: Robotics; Computer vision
Issue: Safety
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: January 2023