Does the Ganzo Attack predate the DDG?


Ramon Etxeberria sent the following excerpt from a small book La defensa francesa by Julio Ganzo, editor R. Aguilera, Madrid, 1957, 2nd edition, 98 pages, A6 size.

Ramon writes: "The part I have translated appears in pages 81-82. As you see there are no games, no extensive variations, neither deep analysis. But there is something important I am sure you have noticed: the name. The variation is not called DDG but Ganzo Attack, obviously after the author's name."

"But what makes it more important is the publication year, 1957, being this its 2nd edition. The book says the first edition was published in 1950, earlier than Diemer's book, which means that it could be the first known book naming the variation."

Ganzo Attack

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.c4

This move is perfectly playable as Black must give up the center, and in any case the pawn can be recovered. If Black wants to hold the center with 3...c6 then the game transposes into a Semi-Slav variation after 4.Nc3.


Now we can consider two variations:

A) 4. f3 Nf6

5.Nc3 Bb4 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 h6

Obviously 7...exf3 must be asnswered with 8.Qxf3. The move in the text seems to be the best in order to avoid the pin 8.Bg5, which is very annoying after Black has lost the king's bishop.


Now there is nothing better for Black than returning the pawn with 8...e3, after which 9.Bxe3 O-O 10.Bd3 and 11.Ne2 gives White good attacking chances.

B) 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nge2 b6

The best way to hold the advanced king pawn.

6.g3 Bb7 7.Bg2 Be7 8.Qc2 O-O 9.Be3 Nbd7 10.O-O-O

And the French game gets a new view.

Editor's comments

Very interesting and original analysis. I must disagree, though, with the following:

Diemer's earliest DDG game is from 1948, but can anyone find a reference to the name Diemer-Duhm Gambit before 1950? In any case, Mr. Ganzo looks like a good candidate to the DDG Hall of Fame...

DDG News 3, Jyrki Heikkinen (ed.)