Is takeback allowed in real chess?

All chess engines allow take backs, but that's not important, it's just a computer, we make mistakes and correct them.

My question is about real chess, is it allowed? both online and in real tournaments? What about the one touch rule?

  • 1
    You cannot get or receive a takeback in official tournament chess. Sep 29, 2019 at 0:07

4 Answers 4


The answer for tournament chess is clear - one cannot request or approve a takeback. On certain chess servers, takebacks are allowed if agreed to by both players. The Internet Chess Club supports this feature, but others like Chess.com do not.

  • On playchess.com one can request a takeback in an unrated game, and if their opponent agrees, they can take back.
    – Akavall
    Aug 6, 2013 at 0:38
  • @Akavall usually unrated games would have takebacks ,since its only an friendly match ,if it is official not take backs are allowed Aug 7, 2013 at 5:59

In tournament chess, you cannot take back a move.

Once you intentionally touch one of your pieces (unless you clearly state that you are just adjusting its placement, by saying "adjust" or "j'adoube"), you must move it if possible. Once you release the piece on its destination square, you cannot change its destination. If you intentionally touch an opponent's piece, you must capture it if possible.


The short answer is "no". The long answer is as follows. There are different kinds of mistakes that you can make during a game. The simple mistakes that cost you material or checkmate are known as "blunders". When you blunder, generally you would be happy if there is a takeback option. Yet, blunders are a part of the game, and in real tournament games (rated games) you are not allowed to make any takebacks. It is instead your responsibility to double and triple check that you are not committing a blunder, before making a move on the board. This type of double checking is one of the skills you have to develop in order to become skilled in chess.


What is real chess?

In tournaments if you make an illegal move you have to take it back.
In casual club games it is often allowed so the game can continue while being more interesting.

In some online forums it is allowed if both people agree.

When ratings are involved I do not know of any place where take-backs are allowed.

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