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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Word's smallest chess set wins design contest

Hello everyone!

The world's smallest chess set has won a design contest in the US. You can read a detailed press note about it here. The design contest for unique Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) was held recently at the University of Utah. The chess board is as wide as four human hair strands! Texas Tech University engineering students have designed it and shared their first prize with a microbarbershop entry to the contest.

The winners' team included Sahil Oak, Ganapathy Sivakumar, Sandesh Rawool and Ashwin Vijayasai. Electrical engineering professor Tim Dallas advised the team.

One of the most advanced microfabrication facilities in the world - the Sandia National Laboratory - will manufacture the designs.

The chess set has micropieces with a tiny stub to be used by a microrobotic arm for moving on the board. There is space on the side of the board for keeping captured pieces.

When I had visited Colombia in 2005 for the television show 'Yo, Jose Gabriel' (see the TV show here), artists Cesar Bonilla and his wife Julia Vergara had presented to me the then smallest chess set ever made! The board measures just 1.2 centimeters square! It was made in Tinjaca, Boyaca (Colombia) with Tagua - the fruit of the ivory-nut palm which becomes very hard and is also called vegetable ivory. The artists are masters of their craft.

I think the chess board I have still remains the smallest hand-crafted chess set in the world.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
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  • At March 17, 2013 at 1:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think the 3mm square hand made one at is smaller
    Hand turned and carved, each square is about 0.4 mm. All the pieces are there.


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