Imagine a table half the size of a coffee bean. All four turned and carved table legs together about the thickness of a piece of uncooked spaghetti. On that table sits a game board roughly the width of a grain of rice. And on that board sit 32 turned and carved boxwood and ebony pieces, each about half the diameter of a pin. These pieces are varnished in place to quite literally pin them down.
Yes, the game table (and working drawer), which is based on “The Chess Players” by Thomas Eakins, is finished. As are the chess pieces, which started out at half a millimetre in diameter, before they were whittled down to a more acceptable ratio (as you can see in the top, left-hand picture) and a mere 0.35 mm. Made in the traditional materials for the game, they sit proudly on a 3.175 mm (1/8th of an inch) chess board whose individual squares measure 0.39 mm (1/64th of an inch).
The setup is four moves into the game. Any guesses as to which famous match this is? First correct comment on this post can look forward to a hand-carved King or Queen playing its way into your possession.