Like many Cairns Cup participants, the German Women’s #1 had an ability that was evident from a young age. Born in Erfurt, East German in 1985, Elisabeth was trained from a young age by her father, GM Thomas Paehtz. She first won the German Girl’s U11 age group at nine years old. Elisabeth really made her splash in 1999, however, when she became German Women’s Champion as a 14-year-old. Paehtz was also a World Youth Champion in Girl’s U18 in 2002 and a World Junior Girl’s Champion in 2005.
Elisabeth has represented Germany at 10 women’s chess olympiad between 1998-2016, often anchoring their first board. At the 2007 World Team, she scored an undefeated five out of eight on board one, securing an individual bronze medal. She also won the individual bronze on board two in the 2001 Women’s European Team Championship. Paehtz has had success at faster time controls as well, and is the reigning European Women’s Rapid Champion. Elisabeth will be coming to St. Louis fresh off of the super strong Tata Steel Challenger’s event, so there is little doubt she’ll be in form and out for blood at the Cairns Cup.