There were some attempts to play chess by post in the 1920s and early 1930s, but no written games have survived. In 1940 three players from the Bulgarian National Team (OTB chess), Alexander Kiprov, Emil Karastoychev and Yury Benderev, organised a match-tournament among themselves, the games played by correspondence. So CC had been introduced to Bulgaria. After this first tournament, won by Al. Kiprov, some 18 years passed until CC could achieve wide popularity in the country. The main merit for that comes to the “Chess thought” magazine and to the editor in chief at that time Andrey Malchev.
The “Chess thought” magazine became the organiser of the first regular in correspondence chess events. A match had been carried out between a team of readers of the magazine, many of them taking their first steps in CC, and the editorial staff of the magazine; the first individual championships had been started and thematic tournaments had been introduced.
In 1948 a new Commission for Correspondence Chess was founded as part of the Bulgarian Chess Federation. This commission became the sole organiser of CC events in the country.
In 1993, the Commission was changed to the Union of Correspondence Chess Players in Bulgaria, which is a fully independent organisation.
The first national individual championship took place in 1961. The winner was Dr. Georgi Popov, the strongest Bulgarian CC player. The next places were taken by the pioneers of Bulgarian correspondence chess Alexander Kiprov, Stefan Mechkarov and Emil Karastoychev.
Up to 2001, 37 national individual championships have been conducted. Only one player, Rumen Tashkov, has won the gold medal three times.
National team championships have been organised since 1991.
Many people have contributed to the development of correspondence chess in Bulgaria, but one of the most remarkable was Nikola Baharov. He was not a CC competitor but he devoted his life to the organisation, popularisation and development of CC in Bulgaria.
Correspondence chess in Bulgaria also owes very much to Alexander Kiprov, who was for many years President of “Union of Correspondence Chess Players in Bulgaria” and Delegate to ICCF for Bulgaria. In the period from 1993 to 2006, Stefan Sergiev, and after him Georgi Sapundjiev managed to preserve correspondent chess in Bulgaria.
After 2006, the renaissance of Bulgarian correspondent chess began, led by the president and national delegate Petyo Marinov and the responsible person for an international events and tournaments - Simeon Vinchev. The merit of Georgi Sapundjiev, Spas Spasov, Toshko Kirkov and Alexander Parushev, who work tirelessly for the benefit of correspondent chess in Bulgaria, is indisputable.
The two organized congresses of ICCF - Pleven 2008 and Albena 2017 are defined, as the best organized and attended in history.
In this period, Bulgaria achieved its greatest successes and the national team reached its golden peak in the final of the 19th ICCF Olympiad and became the Olympic champion.
In 2008 Union of Correspondence Chess Players in Bulgaria was renamed to Bulgarian Correspondence Chess Federation and from 2020 to today, it is Bulgarian Correspondence Chess Association.
The greatest success recorded in golden letters in the history of chess in Bulgaria are the gold medals in the final of ICCF 19 Olympiad.
The Bulgarian team with a captain Vinchev, Simeon and players for the Bulgarian team were: 1.GM Ninov, Nikolai 2. GM Iotov, Valentin Dimitrov 3.SIM Vinchev, Simeon 4. SIM Bochev, Krasimir , ahead of the absolute favorite Germany and one of the most titled teams in the world Czech Republic.
Undisputed success is the second place of final ICCF 7 Olympiad.The players for the Bulgarian team were 1. Dr. Georgi Popov, 2. Dobrotich Andreev, 3. Alexander Kiprov, 4. Georgi Sapundjiev, 5. Dimitar Karapchanski and 6. Petko Angelov.
Bulgaria has participated in 4 finals of the Olympics and is now going to participate in ICCF 23 Olympiad Final.
The women's national team of Bulgaria won the silver medals in Ladies ICCF 8 Olympiad.The Bulgarian team has played many international team matches, with the biggest victory being over the German team
As of June 2023, Bulgaria has 5 GM; 10 SIM , 29 IM and 4 IA.
GM - Gudyev, Mladen; Ninov, Nikolai; Iotov, Valentin Dimitrov; Vinchev, Simeon; Pirš, Matjaž
SIM - Bochev, Krasimir; Dimov, Iskren; Gavazov, Aleksandar; Kalchev; Borislav Emilov; Kalchev, Joncho; Sapundjiev; Georgi; Stoyanov; Zlatin; Vasilev, Vasil; Semenikov, Dmitry Aleksandrovich
IM - Andrejev, Dobrotich; Antonov, Nikola; Davidov, Alexandar; Dimitrov, Deyan; Dimitrov, Marin; Heini, Hans; Hoffmann, Frank; Karapchanska, Sabina; Krastanov, Dimitar; Kurtenkov, Atanas; Malchev, Emil; Marinov, Petyo; Minchev, Valentin Panoiotov; Minkov, Ivan Iliev; Mladenov, Slavei Vasilev; Petkov, Stamat; Petkov, Stoyan; Petkov, Stoyan; Petrov, Milen; Petrov, Valentin; Popov, Ivan Charalamov; Rach, Jen; Radulov, Lyulin; Sergiev, Stefan; Slavchev, Petko Kolev; Spasov, Spas; Tashkov, Rumen; Tenev, Tenio Petko; Tsenkov, Ljubomir
IA - Pirš, Matjaž; Rach, Jens; Sapundjiev, Georgi; Vinchev, Simeon
Gold Bertl von Massow Medal
Kiprov, Alexander; Sapundjiev, Georgi; Marinov, Petyo
Silver Bertl von Massow Medal
Hristov, Ilja; Sergiev, Stefan; Pirš, Matjaž
In the last 15 years, Bulgaria has been one of the largest and most active organizers of invitational tournaments in the world, thanks to the efforts and tireless work Simeon Vinchev. A huge number of tournaments have been organized, in which almost all the best players and World Champions have participated.
Organized by Nikola Baharov
50 Years Bulgarian CC GM-group / 9 Category/
1. GM Mikhailov, Aleksei Ivanovich /RUS/ 11
2. GM Gudyev, Mladen /BUL/ 10.5
3. GM Volchok, Alexandr /UKR/ 10.5
50 Years Bulgarian CC IM-group /6 Category/
1. Hristov, Ilja / BUL/ 10.5
2. IM Mosonyi, Kálmán /HUN/ 10.5
3. Sergiev, Stefan /BUL/ 10
Bakharov Memorial, IM Tournament /5 Category/
1. Werner, Ernst /GER/ 13
2. Mladenov, Slavei Vasilev /BUL/ 11
3. Spasov, Spas /BUL/ 9.5
Organized by Marinov, Petyo and Vinchev, Simeon
The golden years of correspondence chess in Bulgaria
Alexander Kiprov Memorial /8 Category/
1. SIM Ljubicic, Ante /CRO/ 8.5
2. SIM Pessoa, Francisco Azevedo /POR/ 8.5
3.SIM Galanov, Sergey Igorevich /RUS/ 8.5
70 years Correspondence Chess in Bulgaria /13 Category/
1. GM Stephan, Jürgen /GER/ 8
2. SIM GM Dhanish, P. B. /IND/ 8
3. SIM Freeman, Michael Roy /NZL/ 7.5
Marian Vinchev Memorial /11 Category/
1. GM Iotov, Valentin Dimitrov /BUL/ 9.5
2. SIM Nekhaev, Andrey Ivanovich /RUS/ 9.5
3. SIM Kalchev, Borislav Emilov/BUL/ 9.5
Lyuben Fotev Memorial/7 Category/
1. Vasilev, Vasil /BUL/ 9.5
2. SIM Sikorsky, Horst /GER/ 9.0
3. Petkov, Stoyan /BUL/ 8.5
Georgi Dimovski Memorial/11 Category/
1. IM Bochev, Krasimir /BUL/ 8.5
2. GM Siikaluoma, Auno /FIN / 8.5
3. SIM Moura, António J. Brito /POR/ 8.5
20 Years Harmonia - Shabla/12 Category/
1. GM Straka, Zdenek /CZE/ 8.5
2. IM Vinchev, Simeon /BUL/ 8.0
3. GM Neto, Horácio /POR/ 7.5
Marian Vinchev Memorial 2 /14 Category/
1. GM Stalmach, Kamil /CZE/ 6
2. SIM Vinchev, Simeon /BUL/ 5.5
3. GM Fagerström, Björn /SWE/, GM Ham, Stephen E. /USA/ , GM Fleetwood, Daniel M. /USA/ 5.5
BG Corr. Chess Masters - 2017/11 Category/
1. SIM Tleptsok, Ruslan Aslanovich /RUS/ 8;2. SIM Repp, Heinrich /GER/ 7.5
3. SIM Freeman, Michael Roy /NZL/, SIM Oreopoulos, Kostas /GRE/ 7.5
Marian Vinchev Memorial 3 /13 Category/
1. SIM Vinchev, Simeon /BUL/, GM Pirš, Matjaž /GER/, GM Müller, Gerhard (Osnabrück) /GER/, SIM Schilcher, Adrian /GER/, GM Iotov, Valentin Dimitrov /BUL/, GM Fleetwood, Daniel M. /USA/, GM Tleptsok, Ruslan Aslanovich /RUS/, GM Oliveira, João Carlos de /BRA/ 7
Kresim 10/ Troyan 150 /14 Category/
1. GM Müller, Gerhard (Osnabrück) /GER/ 4.5
2 -8. GM Busemann, Stephan /GER/, GM Tleptsok, Ruslan Aslanovich /RUS/, SIM Vinchev, Simeon /BUL/, GM Brodda, Wolfgang /GER/, GM Wunderlich, Hans-Dieter /GER/, Donchenko, Alexander /GER/, GM Iotov, Valentin Dimitrov /BUL/ 4