Person of day - 8 JANUARY 2020
Elisabeth was born into the family of Thomas Paehtz - one of the strongest grandmasters in East Germany. Training with her father, the young chess player quickly became the best in her homeland, took second places in juniors’ world championships, losing only to Alexandra Kosteniuk and Zhao Xue. Her first European zonal tournament in 1998 brought Paehtz 5th place and the title of grandmaster. In 1999, fourteen year-old Lisa became the national champion among adults. Starting with the Elista Olympiad in 1998, Elisabeth Paehtz represents her country in the tournament of nations.
In 1999, the German champion was one of the four advisors in the Kasparov vs Rest of the World match and played two exhibition matches against the 30th world champion. Kasparov recognised the girl’s talent and helped her to find sponsors for subsequent training. Paehtz won the U18s world championship in 2002 and the U20s world championship two years later, also becoming a male. international master
At the 2001 world championship, she became one of the main newsmakers, knocking out Iweta Rajlich and the Chinese player Wang Pin. The next knockout for the German was purely Chinese: she knocked out Wang Ping and defeated Zhao Xue, but lost to Xu Yuhua. In 2005, Elisabeth became the two-time world champion among juniors.
Having finished her studies, Elisabeth Paehtz joined the army. There, she played in the NATO championship, where she came third. She was a regular medallist of Russian championships as a member of Saratov’s “Economist” and she participated in the European champions’ cup.
She was the finalist of the women’s world championship of Fischer Random Chess, where she lost first place to Alexandra Kosteniuk. During the last few years, Elisabeth firmly retains her place in the cohort of leading players of the world and her rating neared the 2500 mark several times.
The German grandmaster is one of the most notable sporting figures in her country. In September 2015, Elisabeth married the Italian master Luca Shytaj - some German news outlets reported that the male part of her fan-sector announced a thousand-day mourning procedure after this event.
Elisabeth Paehtz is not only a chess player but a very creative personality. The grandmaster sings well, often competing at closed tournaments and she likes Russian folk songs. She speaks several foreign languages.