Less “Checkmate,” more “Check your finger to see if it’s still intact, mate.”
A robot chess player recently broke the usual rules of the game when he made a move that shocked onlookers and left his seven-year-old opponent with a broken finger.
In a game at the Moscow Chess Open this month, the robot suddenly pounced on the boy’s finger as it was about to make its move.
A video (below) of the incident shows the robot’s arm appearing to be pressing one of the young player’s fingers onto the chessboard. Unable to free him, several adults rushed forward to try to help the boy when the robotic arm seemingly refused to move. Eventually, the adults managed to free the boy’s finger, but a subsequent medical examination revealed that all was not well.
“The robot broke the child’s finger,” Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation, told TASS news agency after the incident. Lazarev added that the robot had played numerous other events without making such an egregious move, admitting, “Obviously that’s bad.”
The president said the Moscow Chess Federation rented the robot for the competition.
“Apparently the operators have overlooked some shortcomings,” he said. “The child moved, and after that the robot must be given time to react, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him. We have nothing to do with the robot.”
Lazarev promised to investigate the incident to understand exactly how a robot could break a child’s finger during a chess game, adding: “It seems that the robot’s operators need to think about strengthening protection so that such a situation doesn’t happen.” occurs again. ”
The next day the child played again with his fingers in a cast. What happened to the robot is unclear.
Chess-playing computers have made headlines from time to time, but usually more for their skill than their outbursts of violence. For example, an IBM-powered computer called Deep Blue made history in 1996 when it defeated chess legend Garry Kasparov, becoming the first software to win a game against a world champion using tournament rules.
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