Hermann Pilnik

Hermann Pilnik[1] (8 January 1914, Stuttgart, Germany – 12[2] November 1981, Caracas, Venezuela) was a German Argentine chess Grandmaster.[3]

Herman Pilnik
Herman Pilnik 1963.jpg
Full nameHermann Pilnik
CountryArgentina, Germany
Born(1914-01-08)8 January 1914
Died12 November 1981(1981-11-12) (aged 67)
Peak rating2450 (July 1972)


In 1929, he won the championship of Stuttgart. Pilnik emigrated from Germany to Argentina in 1930. He won the Argentine Championships in 1942, 1945 and 1958. Pilnik began his international career in 1942, when he tied for 10-11th in New York, and tied for 2nd-3rd in Mar del Plata. In 1944, he tied for 1st with Miguel Najdorf in Mar del Plata. In July/August 1945, he took 3rd at the Hollywood Pan-American Tournament in Los Angeles. The event was won by Samuel Reshevsky.[4] In 1951, he came third in Gijón international tournament (Euwe was the winner),[5] and he won in Beverwijk. In 1951/52, in Vienna, In 1952, he won in Belgrade. In 1954, he won in Stuttgart.

He played for Argentina in five Chess Olympiads. In 1950, he won individual gold medal playing at first reserve board (+6 −1 =3) and team silver medal at the 9th Chess Olympiad in Dubrovnik. In 1952, he won team silver medal playing at fourth board (+6 −1 =7) at the 10th Chess Olympiad in Helsinki. In 1954, he won team silver medal playing at fourth board (+3 −2 =2) at the 11th Chess Olympiad in Amsterdam. In 1956, he played at fourth board (+7 −3 =3) at the 12th Chess Olympiad in Moscow. In 1958, he won team bronze medal playing at first board (+5 −2 =8) at the 13th Chess Olympiad in Munich.[6]

He was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 1950 and the Grandmaster (GM) title in 1952. He took 10th at the Candidates Tournament at Amsterdam 1956. He traveled a lot and finally settled in Venezuela, where he taught chess at the Caracas Military Academy. He died in Caracas in 1981.

The Pilnik Variation of the Ruy Lopez is named after him.


  1. ^ His official name as Argentine citizen was Germán Pilnik
  2. ^ Gaige; but '13' according to Ajedrez Revista Mensual December 1981, p. 737.
  3. ^ Pilnik's given name was spelled with two 'n's, in standard German fashion. Hooper D. and Whyld K. 1992. The Oxford companion to chess. 2nd ed, Oxford University Press. However, on Argentinian periodicals the name always appears as 'Herman'.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-07-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Pedro Méndez Castedo and Luis Méndez Castedo (2019). The Gijón International Chess Tournaments, 1944-1965. McFarland.
  6. ^ OlimpBase :: the encyclopaedia of team chess

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