Lake Center Christian School 8th Grader Places at GCSCL Chess Tournament

LCCS teen says game has helped define her Christian character

By: Emily Chesnic, Campus Communications & Volunteer Coordinator

HARTVILLE – Place in the top three at a well-attended chess tournament this year. Check(mate)!

This accomplishment was realized by Lake Center Christian School (LCCS) 8th grader Grace Duff on Saturday, Feb. 26, when she placed third at the Greater Cleveland Scholastic Chess League Middle School (GCSCL) Premier Chess Tournament held in Westlake.

When it comes to Chess, a game played between two opponents on a white and black checkerboard, Grace is no rookie, becoming well acquainted with the game at the age of 5. Grace credits her dad, Joel Duff, a former LCCS Chess Club Adviser, for getting her interested in maneuvering those specially designed pieces around the board in a strategic manner while she was just a kindergartener.

“When my dad started to teach me chess, I was not sure if I would enjoy the game, but then I started to really like it,” she said.

During her eight years of chess involvement, Grace’s persistence and dedication to the game helped her come out victorious at multiple tournaments, including the one on Feb. 26, when more than 200 students from Northeast Ohio gathered to compete.

When she lost her second match at the GCSCL Tournament, Grace was not sure if she would place. However, she went on to win her third match and ended up on top after a tie breaking method of scoring was calculated. She ended the day sliding into third place and with an impressive-sized trophy in hand.

Grace, who speaks humbly about her chess success, regularly practices online, often switching up her approach to keep opponents guessing her next move.

One thing for certain, the teen chess player doesn’t plan to move away from the board game anytime soon. 

Grace specifically credits chess for helping develop her Christian character, specifically patience, which the Bible calls a “virtue.”

It is not always easy to sit silent when a competitor is not making his or her move, but Grace says she is determined to stay steadfast and focus on the task at hand – getting her pieces into position, coordinating her attack on a king, and protecting her own king until the end.

“Patience is something I definitely have worked on as I compete in chess,” she said.

Above Image: LCCS 8th Grader, Grace Duff

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