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Herman Pilnik
Hoogovenschaaktoernooi, 1963.
Dutch National Archives
Number of games in database: 553
Years covered: 1935 to 1975

Overall record: +180 -139 =234 (53.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (86) 
    C90 C78 C75 C84 C77
 Sicilian (76) 
    B59 B93 B32 B47 B83
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (37) 
    C90 C84 C91 C96 C97
 French Defense (30) 
    C15 C18 C12 C05 C14
 Caro-Kann (24) 
    B18 B17 B16 B15 B10
 Sicilian Najdorf (18) 
    B93 B92 B91 B94 B98
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (48) 
    B91 B84 B45 B92 B33
 King's Indian (45) 
    E95 E80 E73 E63 E62
 Grunfeld (28) 
    D78 D73 D72 D70 D74
 Orthodox Defense (19) 
    D55 D56 D51 D50 D54
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (19) 
    D27 D28 D26 D29 D23
 Sicilian Najdorf (17) 
    B91 B92 B93 B98 B94
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Pilnik vs Najdorf, 1942 1-0
   Pilnik vs Kashdan, 1948 1-0
   Pilnik vs Bronstein, 1956 1/2-1/2
   Pilnik vs Pirc, 1950 1/2-1/2
   Pilnik vs Pachman, 1952 1-0
   Euwe vs Pilnik, 1950 0-1
   G Barcza vs Pilnik, 1952 1/2-1/2
   Pilnik vs H Kramer, 1950 1-0
   Pilnik vs Unzicker, 1952 1-0
   Pilnik vs Petrosian, 1952 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Pilnik - Olafsson (1957)
   Santiago (1959)
   New York 1948/49 (1948)
   Amsterdam (1950)
   Budapest (1952)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   Mar del Plata (1959)
   Lone Pine (1975)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Mar del Plata 1947 by ozmikey
   Santiago 1959 by suenteus po 147
   1945 Hollywood by crawfb5
   1956 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   1951 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   New York 1948/49 by suenteus po 147
   Pan-American Chess Congress, Hollywood,1945 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Herman Pilnik
Search Google for Herman Pilnik

(born Jan-08-1914, died Nov-12-1981, 67 years old) Germany (federation/nationality Argentina)

[what is this?]

Herman Pilnik was born in Stuttgart, Germany. Awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1952, he was a Candidate in 1956. Pilnik played on five Olympiad teams for Argentina during the 1950s and won the Argentinian Championship in 1942, 1945 and 1958. He travelled frequently and finally settled in Venezuela, where he taught chess at the Caracas Military Academy. Pilnik passed away in Caracas in 1981.

Wikipedia article: Herman Pilnik

Last updated: 2017-11-16 11:23:02

 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 553  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G Holtey vs Pilnik  0-1241935Buenos AiresA52 Budapest Gambit
2. R Grau vs Pilnik 1-0461938ArgentinaA47 Queen's Indian
3. Palau / Najdorf vs Pilnik  1-0261941Consultation gameD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Najdorf vs Pilnik 1-0341941Buenos Aires CirculoD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Pilnik vs Stahlberg  0-1411941Buenos Aires CirculoC14 French, Classical
6. Stahlberg vs Pilnik  ½-½851941Buenos Aires CirculoD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
7. Pilnik vs M Czerniak 1-0271941Buenos Aires CirculoC15 French, Winawer
8. M Czerniak vs Pilnik  ½-½501941Buenos Aires CirculoC47 Four Knights
9. Pilnik vs Najdorf 0-1351941Buenos Aires CirculoC41 Philidor Defense
10. P Michel vs Pilnik  1-0671941Buenos Aires CirculoC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
11. P Michel vs Pilnik  1-0671941Buenos Aires CirculoC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
12. Pilnik vs Graf-Stevenson 1-0271942Mar del PlataC47 Four Knights
13. Pilnik vs Stahlberg 1-0491942Mar del PlataC13 French
14. Pilnik vs M Czerniak  1-0671942Mar del PlataB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
15. J Canepa vs Pilnik  0-1361942Mar del PlataD24 Queen's Gambit Accepted
16. Pilnik vs Najdorf 1-0321942Mar del PlataB15 Caro-Kann
17. M Czerniak vs Pilnik  1-0461943Mar del PlataA45 Queen's Pawn Game
18. Pilnik vs Stahlberg  0-1321943Mar del PlataC15 French, Winawer
19. Najdorf vs Pilnik  ½-½521943Mar del PlataD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
20. Graf-Stevenson vs Pilnik  0-1401944La Plata Jockey ClubD02 Queen's Pawn Game
21. M Czerniak vs Pilnik 0-1371944La Plata Jockey ClubC52 Evans Gambit
22. Pilnik vs Stahlberg  0-1501944La Plata Jockey ClubD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
23. Pilnik vs Najdorf  ½-½351944Mar del PlataC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. E Reed Valenzuela vs Pilnik  ½-½331944Mar del PlataC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
25. Stahlberg vs Pilnik  ½-½471944Mar del PlataA30 English, Symmetrical
 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 553  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Pilnik wins | Pilnik loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-14-07  DennistheMenace: <We seek lesser-known instances of masters making unfavorable scores in simultaneous displays. For example, CHESS, 5 February 1955 (page 215) reported that Herman Pilnik had taken on 43 players in Zagreb, scoring +7 -19 =17. "Quite a good result, really," commented CHESS unconvincingly.> C.N. 2816
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Bio in German, Spanish and English:

A photo taken during the Chess Olympiad Munich 1958:

Jan-08-08  Quintiliano: In his autobiography Laszlo Szabo remarks that at the 1956 Candidates' Pilnik spent most of the available time playing bridge (his true passion, apparently). And yet this tail-ender defeated Szabo, thus ruining his (very good) chances to challenge Botvinnik.
Jan-08-09  brankat: A very strong player, no doubt, but, apparently, he was not nearly as committed to the game as most of his contemporaries.
Jan-08-09  brankat: I assume Herr/Senor Pilnik was a member of the 1939 German Olympic team in Argentina, and, at the outbreak of the War stayed there together with a number of other European masters.
Jan-08-09  Karpova: No, the 1939 German Olympic team consisted of Eliskases, Michel, Engels, Becker and Reinhardt. According to the wikipedia biography, Herman and his parents emigrated to Argentina already in 1930.
Jan-08-09  brankat: Thanks <Karpova>. I knew about Eliskases and Engels, but not about H.Pilnik.

Regarding A Becker, since he was originally from Austria, I suppose he played for the German team after the Anschlus.

Jan-09-09  Karpova: <brankat>
At the unofficial Chess Olympiad in Munich, 1936 both Eliskases and Becker played for Austria (there was neither a German nor an Austrian team at Stockholm 1937) and also in prior Olympiads.

Pilnik was the best reserve player at his first Olympiad in Dubrovnik, 1950 with +6 -1 =3. In Helsinki 1952 he played on board 4 and scored well again (+6 -1 =7). Amsterdam 1954 was not that good, he was the 2nd reserve player and scored +3 -2 =2 (though the losses were against Bohartichuk and Keres!). Fourth board for him again in Moscow, 1956 and +7 -3 =3 (loss against Bronstein). In Munich, 1958 he was on board 1 with +5 -2 =8 (win over Uhlmann, draws against Reshevsky, Smyslov, Unzicker and Gligoric).

Jan-09-09  brankat: <Karpova> Thank You. You are a wealth of information!
May-01-09  Augalv: Pilnik trivia:

It is said that after his first Olympiad in Dubrovnik (1950), the president of Argentina back then, Juan Perón, invited the Olympic team, which had finished as runner up, to a welcome reception. He accepted the invitation and went along with the other members of the team. Once there, and as a token of gratitude for the Olympic team's achievments at the Olympiad in Dubrovnik, the Argentine president, who was accompanied by his wife Eva Duarte, offered a gift to each member of the team. It was a gift they could choose, so each of them was asked what they wanted. One of them said he wanted a life insurance for the president himself, another one said he wanted a house. When it was Pilnik's turn, he walked up to the first lady Eva Duarte and said to her he wanted "a kiss from you".

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Pilnik competed in the 1945 Pan-American Congress in Hollywood with his head swathed in bandages. The circumstances of how he was injured can be read here:

Jan-08-11  ozmikey: <GrahamClayton> Looks to be a dead link unfortunately, so I'll fill in the story... ;-)

Pilnik was on his way to the tournament by car at night (he was a replacement, if I remember rightly) and he crashed into a truck without its lights on. He woke up in hospital and was, not surprisingly, a few days late.

He played a beautiful game against Weaver Warren Adams at that tournament, which doesn't appear to be in the database.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: We'll have to remedy that. For now:

Pilnik, Herman - Adams, Weaver Warren [C98]
Pan American Hollywood, 1945

<1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 Nc6 13.d5 Na5 14.Nf1 c4 15.g4 Nd7 16.Ng3 Re8 17.Kh2 Bf8 18.Rg1 Nc5 19.Nh4 Qb6 20.b4 cxb3 21.axb3 Nab7 22.Nhf5 b4 23.cxb4 Qxb4 24.Bd2 Qb6 25.b4 Nd7 26.Qe2 Nb8 27.Ba4 Bd7 28.Be3 Qd8 29.Bxd7 Qxd7 30.Nh5 Kh8 31.g5 Rc8 32.Nf6 Qd8 33.Qh5 gxf6 34.g6 fxg6 35.Rxg6 Qe8 36.Rag1 Qf7

click for larger view

37.R6g4 1-0>

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: 1973 Gambone-Leight Invitational:

A near tragedy preceded the start of the tournament. GM Herman Pilnik of Argentina was met at Philadelphia International Airport by one of the local chess organizers and his wife. While driving to the playing site, their car was struck and overturned with part of it hanging over the edge of a steep embankment. Pilnik emerged from this brush with death with many bruises and cuts but without serious injury. The other occupants both were hospitalized with broken bones. It is a tribute to Pilnik's fighting spirit that he started his first round as scheduled, and won, against no less a player than Soltis!

(Source: Chess Life & Review 1973)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Resignation Trap: .......Other surprises at the Goteborg Interzonal included a great start by Andrija Fuderer . After twelve rounds of play he had scored 7.5/11 (with one bye), but then followed a complete collapse, and Fuderer could only score three more draws in his remaining nine games, lost all the rest, and never made it to this level of play again.>

A response to this last assertion from another thread:

<May-13-08 brankat: <whiteshark> I used to know some people who, in turn, had known Fuderer. GM Ivkov, among others. They were good friends. Apparently, Fuderer's failure in 1955 was not the reason for his quitting a "professional" chess career. Even before, he had already planned to devote himself to scientific pursuits.

In 1955 he turned 24, and it coincided with his university graduation, upon which he proceeded with the post-graduate studies.

I remember Ivkov saying that Fuderer had, and I quote: "..his own philosophical reasons..". Ivkov didn't elaborate on this.

My feeling has been that, when it became apparent how much work, study, time, energy, it would require to reach and maintain the highest level of mastery in (just) a Game, Fuderer decided to devote the same to what he perceived as a more "worthy" pursuit.

There has been a number of very promising masters that did, more or less, the same.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Interesting quote from Pilnik:

"Fischer is a genius, a monster."

Sep-23-12  Antiochus: [Event "Buenos Aires"]
[Site "Buenos Aires"]
[Date "1935.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Guillermo Holtey"]
[Black "Herman Pilnik"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A52"]
[PlyCount "48"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. e3 Ngxe5 6. Be2 Bb4+ 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. a3 Bxd2+ 9. Qxd2 d6 10. b3 Be6 11. Bb2 a5 $1 12. Qc3 f6 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. O-O Bg4 15. Kh1 Nd8 16. Rd2 Ne6 17. Nd4 Nc5 18. f3 Bd7 19. e4 f5 20. exf5 Bxf5 21. Nxf5 Rxf5 22. Bd1 Ne4 23. Qc2 Ng4 24. Rd4 Ng3+ 0-1

Oct-20-12  tim butler: Are there any articles about chess during WW2? I know some storys about the German team got stuck in Argentina just when the war started and some members stayed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: To <tim butler>: The best overview is Reuben Fine's book "Chess Marches On!" published in 1945 which covers chess during the war in the U.S., Russia, South America, and German occupied Europe, and a few games from London 1941 tournament. In addition to 50 annotated games by top players, the text summarizes in each area the impact of the war on chess. Although chess activity was obviously curtailed, each locality to some extent had high level tournaments, but without the normal mix of international competitors. I have the original 1945 edition, but Amazon has available a version recently published by Sam Sloan's Ishi Press.
Oct-20-12  parisattack: One of the originators of the 5. ...e5 Sicilian. Older opening books refer to it as the Pilnik-Pelikan and/or the Lasker-Hunt variation. Sveshnikov gave it new life in the 1970s with ...b5 temporarily trapping white's KN on a3 - although Larsen played ...b5 against Olafsson in 1958 then reverted to ...Rc8 against Robatsch a few years later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Seems like Argentina was a good place to spend the war. Grass fed beef, fresh air, and no Nazis.

I couldn't help but notice ChessBase really hyping the present Mar del Plata tournament in Argentina. It doesn't seem to have elite players, but they are treating it as a super tournament.

I'm reminded of Fischer playing in Mar del Platta. I think Spassky, Najdorf and David Bronstein were there, at the tournament in the 60s. Now THAT's a tournament.

Apr-22-13  Abdel Irada: <HeMateMe: Seems like Argentina was a good place to spend the war. Grass fed beef, fresh air, and no Nazis.>

I'm sure the victims of Dr. Josef Mengele ( and other war criminals in the German exodus to South America during and after the war will be tickled to hear it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. <POTD>: Herman Pilnik.
Jun-26-16  Yopo: Leonid Stein cannot stop his "b"-pawn
Pilnik vs Stein, 1966
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dijon15: So, why doesn't the bio mention Pilnik's rating?
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