Bengaluru, January 14: Indian chess prodigy Arpita Mukherjee has a dream. The Under-20 champion of the Commonwealth Chess Championship, only 16, wants to emulate Hungarian legend Judit Polgar.
Polgar, 41, is considered the best female chess player of all time.
"My style of play is similar to Polgar's style of play. I have been reading books on her game style and following her matches for a long time. I want to become like Polgar one day and in a bid to reach that level, I have to be mentally strong and attain more skill and perfection."
After the Commonwealth title in Delhi, the student of Dibyendu Barua and Subhrajit Saha finished fourth in the World Youth Chess tournament held in Uruguay. She also earned her first maiden International Master norm from that tournament. Yet, she rues that she missed the bronze by a whisker. "I still cannot forget that I had missed the bronze by a whisker," she said. "I was 0.5 points behind the player who earned the bronze medal in World Youth Chess."
In her preparation to improver her psychological strength Arpita says she reads a lot. "I regularly read the motivational books of APJ Abdul Kalam. I even watched the movie 'MS Dhoni the Untold Story'. It also gives me some inspiration."
Arpita, a Class 10 student in Kolkata, is now busy preparing for her final examination, scheduled to be held in early March. She, however, eagerly awaits the one-week special workshop on chess, which will be organised by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) in New Delhi. Former Russian Grand Master Landa Konstantin is likely to conduct the class.
"We will have a lot of things to learn from that famous Grand Master. I am keenly waiting for that one-week class. Then, I might go to Thailand to take part in an Asian Chess tournament."