Viswanathan now has his name among the stars. Literally!
A planet discovered in 1988 was unnamed all these days, until Micahel Rudenko, a minor planet committee member and chess buff, decided to finally give it a name. It is now called ‘Vishyanand’.
Rudenko said, “My two passions in life are astronomy and chess. 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.”
The privellege of naming the plant generally goes to the discoverer, but if it remains unnamed for 10 years, then the final call is in the hands of the Minor Planet’s Association.
Minor Planet 4538, as it was called before being named Vishyanand, was discovered by Kenzo Suzuki in Toyota, Japan.
Anand now joins a select club of chess players to have a planet named after them. Only two players – Alexander Alekhine and Anatoly Karpov – have been bestowed with this honour. Among other sporting heroes, Anand joins the likes of Donald Bradman, Jesse Owens, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to have this unique privilege