India's fourth woman Grandmaster and West Bengal's first, Nisha Mohta dreams of becoming the women's World champion some day and commanding respect of the entire chess fraternity like Judith Polgar.
"Willpower and character are the two most important things and Judith has both in addition to her technical mastery on the chessboard. She plays only against men and commands respect. That's awesome and something I admire and idolise," says Nisha.
The commerce graduate from the Indira Gandhi Open University has her feet firmly on the ground.
''Right now I have two priorities. One is to gather as many points as possible to push towards 2400 Elo points, and the second is to get a professional coach," Nisha, currently on 2321 Elo points, said.
"I will be playing in a few All India Open chess meets to raise my points as fast as possible," she said.
The meets will be held in Lucknow, Saharanpur, Delhi and Jamshedpur. "As far as coaches are concerned I don't have anyone in mind. But I know professional coaches can do a world of difference. I had attended two camps in India under GM Evgeny Vladimirov and IM Alexander LeChenko. They did a world of good to me," she added.
Continuing in her chirpy manner, Nisha felt women chess players need more exposure to hone their skills.
"China is the leading women's chess-playing country, with current World champion Xhu Chen. They have a China-US summit where their players regularly interact. We need such summits or tournaments abroad on a regular basis," Nisha, who got her final GM Norm in the National women's Open in Mumbai this January, said.
Asked why did it take so long to the FIDE recognition, she said, "FIDE had their meeting in February and it was too soon to send the details, and the next meeting was in August. So I had to wait."
The bubbly 20-year-old got her first GM norm at the Asian women chess championship in 2001, her second at the United Institute IM chess meet at Dhaka in 2002.
"I am aware that if I fail to perform people will forget me. I want to improve my game and for that I need my own laptop which I think my employers should provide now that I have become a GM," the LIC employeee added with a smile.
Asked about her strengths on the board, she said, "My opening is my strongest. I have no bias in playing with white or black. It depends on my preparations," she said and added in the same breath, "I need to improve on all scores. There is a long way to go."
On having a permanent partner, she said, "I don't have anyone. I practiced with Arghadeep Das before the Mumbai meet and often fall back on IM Atanu Lahiri for tips. My father has been my coach all through, but now he is more like a guide."
Asked whether she has any interaction with Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, Nisha replied, "I had the chance of interacting with him on September 25, 2001, when he had come for a day. Next, I was his teammate when we went to play the men's and women's championship in Moscow. That was a very proud moment of my life."