Abel Talamantez is a California native who has spent the last 10 years as a chess coach and organizer, spending the last 3 years as Chess Director of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club in San Francisco, the oldest continuously running chess club in the country. He has co-organized many state and national championship events, including the CalChess Super States Championship, CalChess Grade Level Championship, 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. 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. He is also a FIDE Arbiter, FIDE Instructor, FIDE National Instructor, FIDE School Instructor, US Chess Senior Tournament Director, and FIDE Chess in Education Lecturer. He is also the current Chair of the US Chess Clubs Committee.
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