Description of Figure/Doll

Ceramic doll of Croatian woman. Her body is made from ceramic, and her clothes are fabric. She is wearing a soft cotton scarf that covers her head and shoulders, which is common in her culture. Her gold trim headband is intricate and appears under her scarf (at her forehead). Her face is hand painted on the ceramic. She has very long hair that is made from black yarn.  She is wearing a white blouse, long skirt, and an apron with an applique. She has a gold coin hanging from her neck.

Croatia

Location: Europe

Capital: Zagreb

Main language: Croatian

Currency: Kuna

Figure/Doll

Construction: ceramic, cloth

Height in Centimeters: 15

Height in Inches: 6

Chess in Croatia: The Legend of the Chessboard on the Croatian Flag

Reading Level: 6.60

My name is Lana, and I live in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Croatia is a small European country across from Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Dubrovnik is often called the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” Many tourists visit Dubrovnik to see the famous wall around the city. This high wall is hundreds of years old.  It’s really fun to walk around and look down at all the old buildings and streets.

In Croatia, we love sports. The most popular sports include soccer, handball, tennis, snow skiing, and water polo. My favorite pastimes are picigin and chess. Picigin is similar to water polo, but it is played in shallow water. Since Croatia has miles and miles of beautiful beaches, picigin is very popular.

I started playing chess when I was six years old. With chess, I feel like a general leading an army of 16 pieces. Along with the king and queen, chess includes pawns, knights, bishops, and rooks. The king is the most important piece. If your king is trapped (checkmate), you lose the game. My job is to capture the other king and protect my king. In my army of chess pieces, the queen is the most powerful. She can move in any direction across the board.

Chess has been a popular game in Croatia for a long, long time. The legend is that a thousand years ago, the Croatian King Drzislav, was at war with Doge (duke) Pietro II Orseolo from Venice, Italy. The Italian army captured King Drzislay and put him into a dungeon. However, when Doge Pietro II found out that King Drzislav loved to play chess, he issued a challenge. If the Croatian king could beat him three times in a row, Doge Pietro II said he would let him out of the dungeon.

King Drzislav accepted the challenge. The royal enemies played three chess games. Luckily, the Croatian king won all three matches. He was then released and went back to Croatia. When he got back to Croatia, he added a chessboard to the Croatian flag to honor his victory. To this day, the Coatian flag proudly displays the red and white squares of chess.

Today chess is as popular as ever in Croatia. Boys and girls play chess at school and in clubs. My goal is to compete in the International Youth Chess Festival next year. Maybe, someday, I can join the long list of Croatian Grandmasters.


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