Herman Pilniks ancestors came from Vilna, with his parents he spoke Yiddish- German. The ten- year-old learned chess after he had watched his father and his uncle playing. Even as a 15 -year-old he was Stuttgart's masterpiece, and one year later Württemberg Gaumeister ( shared with Hans Schmid). In 1930 he emigrated with his parents to Argentina, where he first tried his hand as a businessman before he became a professional chess player. Initially not very successful, Pilnik described the personal encounter with Alexander Alekhine during the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires in 1939 as a powerful stimulus ( Pilnik acted as a senior referee, but was in between some free games with Alekhine playing ). He then won three league titles in Argentina. 1942, 1945 and 1958 since 1942, when he was in New York 10th - 11th was, he took part in international tournaments. In 1944, he shared 1st and 2nd place in Mar del Plata, won the championship in Asuncion, Paraguay and finished in Vina del Mar ( Chile) 2nd place behind Gideon Stahlberg. In 1945 he finished third in Hollywood at the Pan-American Championship ( behind Samuel Reshevsky and Reuben Fine ), although he shortly before had a serious car accident and doctors dissuaded him from participating in the tournament. 1948/49, he was in New York shared third with Max Euwe, after a tournament in Mexico in 1949 he traveled to Europe and played there continues to be very successful. At the Chess Olympiad 1950 in Dubrovnik, he scored on board 5 75% for Argentina, right after he finished second ( behind Miguel Najdorf ) in the strong field tournament in Bled. In the same year he was appointed by the World Chess Federation FIDE International Master for. In 1951, he played in Zurich against Efim Bogolyubov a contest 3-3 draw. In the same year he shared in Madrid in second place and won in Beverwijk.
In 1952 he won in Belgrade and participated in the Interzonal in 1952 in Saltsjöbaden part. FIDE awarded him this year's Grandmaster title.
Pilnik also took the next Interzonal in Gothenburg in 1955 in part, in which his split 7 - 9th Course ( with Boris Spassky and Miroslav Filip ) meant to qualify for the Candidates Tournament in 1956 in Amsterdam. This tournament was Pilnik tenth (last ). Pilnik represented Argentina at five (1950, 1952, 1954, 1956 and 1958) Chess Olympiads, last in Munich in 1958 on the first board. After the tournament in Mar del Plata in 1959, he settled in Chile, where he remained until 1970 and then returned to Argentina. He spent his final years as a chess trainer and frequently changed his residence. Most recently, he was the coach in Venezuela at the military academy in Caracas, where he died in 1981.
After Pilnik ( Pilnik system) used to be a variant was identified in the Sicilian Defence: 1.e2 -e4 c7 - c5 2.Sg1 -f3 c6 3.d2 -d4 - Sb8 c5xd4 4.Sf3xd4 Ng8 - f6 5.Sb1 - c3 e7 - e5 b5 6.Sd4 - d7 - d6 ( those for previous 6 .. a7 - a6). Elaborated has Pilnik it together with Jorge Pelikan, after which it has also been frequently named. Pelikan variant So Pilnik already played in the 1950s (eg against David Bronstein in Moscow in 1956 and against Efim Geller in Amsterdam 1956); This system has been thoroughly studied only in the 1970s by Soviet players from Chelyabinsk and is now known internationally as Sveshnikov Variation.