Pähtz was trained in chess from early childhood by her father Thomas Pähtz, a chess Grandmaster himself. At the age of 9 years she won her first German championship in the under-11 age group. In 1999 she became Germany's women's chess champion. She served as one of four advisors on the World team in the 1999 Kasparov versus The World chess match.
In 2002 Pähtz became the Youth World Champion of the under-18 age group, and in 2004 the Junior World Champion of the under-20 age group. The same year at the European women's championship in Dresden she took 16th place.
Pähtz attended the Sport High School Dresden until 2004 and is among the strongest native German chess players. She plays for the Dresdner Sport Club 1898 and other associations.
As one of the greatest German new-generation talents Pähtz was the subject of a large media interest when growing up. Among other things it was reported that she was likely to fail high school mathematics. Her own explanation for this however, is that she is an intuitive player and so does not have to be a universal genius.