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Abel Talamantez is a California native who has spent the last 12 years as a chess coach and organizer. He has co-organized many state and national championship events, including the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championship, U.S. Junior Congress, U.S. Cadet Championship, and U.S. Amateur Team West. Abel is the 2020 US Chess Accessibility and Special Circumstances Person of the Year and 2021 US Chess Organizer of the Year. In 2024, he was a recipient of the Andy Lerner Award for Excellence in Chess Education. He has over 10 years of coaching experience at the elementary school level in schools throughout the Bay Area and is as passionate about introducing brand new players to the game, as well as developing and coaching a competitive team.


He strongly believes in the power of chess to bring communities together, and that chess can be used in schools as a tool for social empowerment, developing critical thinking skills, teaching sportsmanship and competition, and many other skills that children will use throughout their life away from the chessboard. The goal of the chess program at Hamilton is to make chess enjoyable and fun, to build community among the players, and to give kids a place to go where everyone feels valued. From beginner to experienced player, all are welcome at the Hamilton Chess Club.


Abel has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Cal State Monterey Bay. He is also a FIDE International Arbiter and FIDE Lead School Instructor. He is a member of the US Chess Chess in Education Committee and US Chess Scholastic Committee. 

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