About Us 

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Who we are

Bright Knights Chess Club is a volunteer organization founded by the Balboa HS Chess Club alumni. It is composed of San Francisco Bay Area chess players, working professionals, college students, and high school student volunteers. The organization's goal is to bring the community of diverse economic, cultural, ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds together through the game of chess.

The Bright Knights focuses primarily in providing the opportunity for all San Francisco Bay Area youths to learn chess and to train for nationally rated tournaments. In addition to teaching chess, the organization strives to promote youth's self-esteem, sportsmanship and service to the community.


Bright Knights Chess Club was founded in 1999 at Balboa High School (San Francisco, CA) by students who wanted to get together to promote the game of chess. It was originally a student-led chess program at Balboa High School that competed actively in Northern California and hosted inter-scholastic chess competition summits in San Francisco. During its time from 1999-2002, it was the largest, most organized and successful school chess program in San Francisco.


The Balboa High School Chess Club alumni convened in May of 2003 to transition Bright Knights from being a high school chess club to a community chess program. The goal was to create a chess club in which youths from all over San Francisco could learn to play and train for chess tournaments at no cost. The reorganization was led by Vincent Ng, Christopher Flores, Dennis Tocol, Alvin Ma, and other members. They created their first free youth chess program at the San Francisco Public Library - Excelsior Branch in May of 2003. Today, the organization continues to partner with public libraries, school districts, and non-profit organizations to make chess accessible for youths in the San Francisco Bay Area.