United States – Inducted 1993
Victor Palciauskas was born in Lithuania, but moved first to Germany, then to the Chicago suburbs as a young child in the postwar years of the 1940s. His uncle taught him chess at the age of five, but he did not become a serious competitor until his early teen’s, when he joined his high school chess club and began to participate in USCF tournament events around the Midwest. After receiving an expert rating for his second-place finish at the 1958 Indiana Open, he won fifth place at both the 1959 and 1961 U.S. Junior Championship and tied for fifth at the 1963 U.S. Open.
Though skilled at over-the-board chess, correspondence chess is where Dr. Palciauskas’ true fame lies. Because of his graduate studies in theoretical physics, he turned to international correspondence play after seeing a 1970 article by Walter Muir on the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF). After working his way up the ranks of correspondence chess in the 1970s and early 1980s, he was awarded the ICCF GM title in 1983. His undefeated, clear victory in the 10th World Championship of Correspondence Chess the following year places him among those few who have achieved the highest possible level in any endeavor.