“A robot broke a child’s finger — this is, of course, bad,” Sergey Lazarev said of the incident to Russian state news agency TASS, according to CNN.
The boy’s finger was broken during a chess match on July 19 after he rushed the robot during its turn, Lazarev said.
“The child made a move, and after that it is necessary to give time for the robot to respond, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him.”
Lazarev emphasized that the robot is not owned by the Moscow Chess Federation, saying, “The robot was rented by us, it has been exhibited in many places by specialists for a long time. Apparently, the operators overlooked some flaws.”
Despite the injury, the boy continued to play in the tournament with his finger in a cast.
“The child played the next day, finished the tournament in a cast, and volunteers helped to record the moves,” Lazarev said.
“We will coordinate to understand what happened and try to help in any way we can. And the robot’s operators, apparently, will have to think about strengthening protection so that such a situation does not happen again.”
Video of the incident posted on the Baza Telegram channel shows the robot arm pinching the boy’s finger for several seconds before multiple bystanders rush in to free the child’s hand.
The chess-playing robot “is equipped with artificial intelligence and can play three games at once. On July 19, he played three matches with young talents, including with 7-year-old Christopher, who is one of the 30 strongest chess players in Moscow under 9 years old,” the Baza Telegram channel said in its post according to Google Translate.
“The robot did not like such a rush — he grabbed the boy’s index finger and squeezed it hard. Bystanders rushed to help and pulled out the finger of the young player, but the fracture could not be avoided,” the post reads.
According to The Guardian, the parents of the injured boy have reportedly contacted the public prosecutor’s office, who said it will “communicate, figure it out and try to help in any way we can.”
The Moscow Chess Open took place in the Russian capital between July 13 and 21.
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