In what might be the worst instance of a humble board game going deliriously wrong, a chess-playing robot seemingly gained sentience and broke a seven-year-old child’s finger during a tournament at the Moscow Open.
The reason for such brutalism? The robot punished the boy for completing a move too quickly, proving even machines can be narcs.
Not now, chess robot uprising https://t.co/Msq5t8VQnm
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) July 24, 2022
Per The Guardian, Moscow Chess Federation president Sergey Lazarev told Tass it was the child’s fault.
“The robot broke the child’s finger. This is of course bad,” he said.
“The robot was rented by us. It has been exhibited in many places, for a long time, with specialists.
“The child made a move, and after that we need to give time for the robot to answer but the boy hurried and the robot grabbed him. We have nothing to do with the robot.”
Yes, Sergey. It is bad. Thank you.
“This is of course bad” pic.twitter.com/fpQdF7yKnF
— Rudi Edsall (@RudiEdsall) July 24, 2022
The actual video is horrendously distressing, with the robot squeezing the boy’s finger for a few seconds before some people rushed over to free him.
Despite the robot displaying such aggression, another chess-obsessed adult also believed the child — known only by the name Christopher — was cruising for a bruising.
“There are certain safety rules and the child, apparently, violated them,” Russian Chess Federation vice-president Sergey Smagin told RIA Novosti.
“When he made his move, he did not realise he first had to wait.”
Chess Robot Delivers Package Piledriver To Seven Year-Old Opponent
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) July 25, 2022
Smagin even went as far to say the robot was “absolutely safe” and the situation was merely “a coincidence”.
“It has performed at many opens,” he said.
“Apparently, children need to be warned. It happens.”
Look, I don’t have much experience with chess-playing robots but I would argue this sort of thing simply does not just happen. Having your finger crushed mid-match by a mechanical opponent is not a normal day at the board game office.
According to Lazarev, young, sweet Christopher finished the tournament the next day with his finger in a plaster cast.
His parents have also reportedly contacted the public prosecutor’s office and honestly, I wish them well.
The chess robot thing reminded me of when Wendell Sailor arm wrestled a guy on the footy show and broke his bicep on live tv. Important moments in culture
— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) July 25, 2022
This chess story is no three-year-old chess prodigy eating shit on Russian television after he was beaten by an adult man — a sublime moment which lives rent-free in my head.
No, it’s something far more sinister and dystopian.
It is a reminder for naughty children around the world to think twice before disobeying board game-playing machines, lest they wish to atone for their crimes.
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