A chess-playing robot grabbed and broke a seven-year-old boy's finger during a match at the Moscow Open earlier this month.

After the July 19 incident, Sergey Lazarev, President of the Moscow Chess Federation, told the TASS news agency, “The robot broke the child’s finger," and added that this is bad.

According to The Guardian, a video of the incident published by the Baza Telegram channel showed the boy’s (Christopher) finger being pinched by the robotic arm for several seconds. Then a woman followed by three men rushed in, freed him and took him away. Even though people rushed to help, the fracture could not be avoided.

The Sun reported that the robot appeared to pounce after it took one of the boy’s pieces, said Sergey Smagin, Vice President of the Russian Chess Federation. He added that rather than waiting for the robot to complete its move, the child opted for a quick riposte. Smagin pointed out that there are certain safety rules and the boy, "apparently, violated them." He said that when the boy made his move, "he did not realize he first had to wait." He noted that this is an "extremely rare case, the first I can recall."

Lazarev had a different story to tell. According to him, the boy had “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." He added that the machine's suppliers were “going to have to think again."

Christopher is said to be one of the 30 best chess players in the under-nines category in the Russian capital.

The boy, whose finger was put in a plaster cast, did not seem overly traumatized by the incident, said Lazarev. He shared that the boy came back the very next day, finished the tournament, and "volunteers helped to record the moves." But the boy's parents seem to be unhappy and have reportedly contacted the public prosecutor’s office.

The incident was “a coincidence” and the machine was “absolutely safe," said Smagin. The robot can play multiple matches at a time. It had reportedly already played three on the day it encountered Christopher. Smagin said that it has performed at many opens, but apparently, "children need to be warned. It happens.”

The incident was no doubt due to “some kind of software error or something," said Russian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin. He noted that this has never happened before, and that there are "such accidents. I wish the boy good health.”

File picture of a chess robot
A robot developed by Taiwan engineers moves chess pieces on a board against an opponent at the 2017 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 8, 2017. The robot developed by Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute, which spent the week playing games against opponents at the Consumer Electronics Show, was displaying what developers call an "intelligent vision system" which can see its environment and act with greater precision than its peers. Photo by Rob Lever/AFP via Getty Images

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