Vincent Ng presides over the Chess Club for kids at the Excelsior Branch on Saturday afternoons. He started the Chess Club in June 2003 and it's been a weekly program at Excelsior ever since. When the library was closed for renovation, he moved the club to the Boys & Girls Club. I got a chance to talk with Vincent on a recent Saturday to find out a little more about him.
Vincent started the chess club because he learned how to play chess at a public library in New York. He wanted to give other kids the opportunity to learn a game he loves. The Excelsior Library was his neighborhood branch until a recent move to Daly City. He headed the Balboa High School chess club before starting the Library club.
According to Vincent, the Bay Area has some of the most competitive kid chess players, but very few of them are from San Francisco. Nonetheless, at the California State tournament in Santa Clara in April 2010, the Excelsior Library Chess Club won two trophies. More than 1200 kids competed in 15 divisions.
Sometimes Vincent's old teammates help out with the Chess Club, and recently the 8th Grade National Master approached him at an event in Chinatown and now he also volunteers at Excelsior. Vincent knows that there may be more demands on him as time goes by, and his goal is to find others to carry on with the club when that happens.
Kids who want to learn and/or play chess should come to the Excelsior Branch Saturdays from 1-3. On top of his chess skills, Vincent speaks three languages. He spent his first 12 years in the Dominican Republic, and Spanish is his first language. He speaks Cantonese at home.
We want to thank Library Volunteer Vincent Ng for his generosity to the kids at Excelsior Branch.
In the Neighborhood features information about people and places in the Excelsior neighborhood that you may already know and love, or that might be new to you. Watch this space!