Chess-playing robot breaks seven-year-old boy’s finger during tournament in Russia

Published on Jul 25, 2022 at 12:32 PM (UTC+4)
by Kate Bain

Last updated on Jul 25, 2022 at 3:34 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Chess-playing robot breaks seven-year-old boy’s finger during tournament in Russia

A robot has broken a seven-year-old boy’s finger during a game of chess in Russia. 

The robot was playing against the child at the Moscow Open when it happened. 

The boy was unable to free himself and it was only after a group of adults rushed in to help that he was able to escape.

You can watch it play out in CCTV footage here.

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The seven-year-old is one of Moscow’s top 30 players under the age of nine.

“The robot broke the child’s finger,” Moscow Chess Federation President Sergey Lazarev told Tass news agency. 

“This is of course bad.” 


Video footage from the event shows the boy moving one of his pieces on the board before the chess-playing robot reaches out and grabs his finger. 

In footage taken at the event, you can see the boy trying to free his finger before adults around him notice what’s going on.

He is then freed and ushered away from the competition table. 

The seven-year-old was able to continue in the chess tournament, playing the rest of the competition in a cast. 

The boy’s parents were unsurprisingly not happy about the day’s events. 

They are reportedly planning to press charges at the local prosecutor’s office. 

Moscow Chess Federation vice president Sergey Smagin told RIA Novosti the robot was extremely safe and the incident was due to human error. 

“There are certain safety rules and the child apparently violated them,” he told Ria

“When he made his move, he did not realize he first had to wait.” 

He said the incident was “extremely rare” and the competition did not plan to ban robots from tournaments going forward. 

Chess-playing robots have been around for decades, but this is the first reported injury one has caused. 

Robots have been programmed to play the game from as early as the 1950s. 

Then 40 years later, IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer was so good that it beat then World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov. 


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Kate Bain

Kate Bain is the Page Editor at She is based in Dubai and coordinates coverage of the latest news across automotive, technology, and lifestyle. Kate has a bachelor's degree in business and post graduate in journalism. She is an experienced editor and journalist who has worked for News Corp, Daily Mail Australia, and Sky News. When she's not at work, you'll find her attached at the hip to her dog, Thor. Kate is currently on maternity leave following the birth of her first child.