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Viswanathan Anand checks his name into space

Published Apr 4, 2015, 4:26 pm IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 12:50 pm IST
A planet has been officially named after Indian chess Grandmaster

Mumbai: Indian chess Grandmaster Viswanathan ‘Vishy’ Anand has added yet another feather in his cap. Anand has registered his name into the books of planetary science. A minor planet discovered in 1988 has been officially named ‘(4538) Vishyanand’.

The planet between the orbits of 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, committee member of the Minor Planet Center, who was invited to do the honours, decided to name it after the former world chess champion, Chess News reported on April 1.

“The idea of naming a minor planet for Anand was entirely my own. After careful consideration I selected him because in addition to being a great chess player he is also a gentlemen and an astronomy enthusiast,” Rudenko reportedly told the New Indian Express.

Rudenko proposed the name ‘Vishyanand’, following the rules that require names to be 16 characters or fewer, and preferably without spaces, along with a brief citation explaining the reason for the name. And to his joy, the committee gave its nod and the name has been formally accepted. After recently losing the World Chess Championship to Magnus Carlsen, this piece of news should bring a smile to Vishy's face.