Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Chess-Playing Robot Breaks Child Prodigy’s Finger

Konstantin Kosteniuk's chess robot gives a simultaneous exhibition at the 2018 FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships on Dec. 25, 2018. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

A Russian chess robot latched onto and broke a child prodigy’s finger during a tournament in Moscow, news outlets have reported.

Video shared by the Baza Telegram channel Thursday showed the robot arm squeezing the boy’s finger and adults rushing to his help.

The news outlet identified the victim as 7-year-old Kristofer, one of Moscow’s 30 strongest chess players under the age of 9.

Chess officials said the child player returned the next day to finish the week-long Moscow tournament and attend an awards ceremony after his finger was placed in a cast.

“The robot broke the child’s finger — that’s of course bad,” Sergei Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation, told the state-run TASS news agency Thursday. 

But he and his deputy appeared to place some of the blame on the boy’s swift maneuvering on the board.

“The kid made a move and then should have given time for the robot to respond, but the boy rushed it and robot grabbed him,” Lazarev was quoted as saying. 

“There are certain safety rules. The kid probably broke them in time trouble and didn’t notice when he made his move,” Sergei Smagin, Vice President of the Moscow Chess Federation, told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Thursday.

Smagin said it was the first incident in the chess robot’s 15 years playing against humans.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more