Planet named after Viswanathan Anand
“Vishy” Anand: Chessmaster, Grand Master, World Champion and now a Planet
Viswanathan Anand was till date known as the World Chess grandmaster. But now, the Indian Chess prodigy has had his name etched among the stars-quite literally.
Becomes first Indian after whom a Planet has been named
Viswanathan Anand became the first Indian to have a planet named after him after Michael Rudenko, committee member of the Minor Planet Center decided to name Minor planet (4538) after the former world chess champion.
“My two passions in life are astronomy and chess,” says Michael, who has a Playchess account. “I thought it might be appropriate to name a minor planet in honor of a chess grandmaster. My thoughts at once turned to Viswanathan Anand who, in addition to being the fifteenth world chess champion, is also an astronomy buff.”
Minor planet (4538), between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter, was discovered on October 10, 1988 by Kenzo Suzuki in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, but had remained unnamed till recently. The discoverer retains the privilege of suggesting a name for 10 years and a committee chosen from the working group of the International Astronomical Union has the final authority to finally assign a name to a numbered minor planet.
Michael Rudenko proposed the name “Vishyanand” (adhering to rules requiring names to be 16 characters or fewer, and preferably without spaces), along with a brief citation explaining the reason for the name. To his delight, the committee gave its approval, and minor planet (4538) is now officially known as “(4538) Vishyanand”. The citation reads: “Viswanathan (Vishy) Anand (b. 1969) was India’s first chess grandmaster. He went on to become the fifteenth undisputed world chess champion. In addition to his passion for chess, he is also an avid astrophotography enthusiast.”
Anand is only the third chess player in the world after Alexander Alekhine and Anatoly Karpov to be honored in this fashion.