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If your opponent makes an accidental move, e.g. by slipping the mouse, and it is obvious that is was accidental, how should you continue? Should you just play the best move as if your opponent's last move was intentional? Some of my opponents have suggested that I should accept a draw in such situations. Others have asked me to make a dummy move, so that they could undo their last move by moving the piece back to the square where it was before.

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FICS has a "takeback" option; other sites may have something similar.

The link gives full details but the idea is that you type takeback n to request undoing n half-moves. Either player can do this so, if you make a mouse-slip, you can just type takeback to ask your opponent to undo that move (n=1 is assumed if you don't specify); if your opponent makes a mouseslip, you can still type takeback to allow them the chance to undo. In the second case, you don't have to wait for your opponent to reply while your clock ticks away: if you make your move, the takeback is modified to takeback 2 so your opponent has the offer of undoing both his mistake and your reply to it. When offered a takeback, you can either accept or decline; making a move automatically declines. Accepting a takeback also resets the clocks to what they were at the moment when the mouse-slip was made.

On sites where this is not available, I'd recommend not making a dummy move, unless you were already in a losing position. You don't know that your opponent will behave honourably. They might exploit your generosity. I also wouldn't offer a draw unless, perhaps, a draw would have been a reasonable outcome before the mouse-slip. If your opponent was already losing, why should they gain half a point just by making a mouse-slip?

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    Lichess has a takeback feature aswell – pulsar512b Mar 30 at 22:13
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Mouse slips are a result of moving too fast.

Why should your opponent have the advantage of moving fast, without suffering the disadvantage of slipping once in a while? So in blitz I wouldn't accept any takebacks, it's just part of the game.

Of course in longer time controls you could show more leniency ...

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    In 1 minute games when people premove 1...g6 2...Bg7 I often play 3. Bh6 followed by 4.Bxg7 and 5.Bxh8. Hehehe. – magd Mar 3 '15 at 22:15
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    "Mouse slips are a result of moving too fast." Often, I'm sure. Maybe even a majority of the time. However, there are other explanations: Faulty hardware (e.g. I have a mouse with a button that doesn't always work right), buggy software, etc. – GreenMatt Mar 11 at 19:43
  • @GreenMatt sometimes it's not even buggy or anything. I sometimes click on a piece to move it and realize I don't want to move it so I click away, this sometimes leads to me accidentally making a move. Other times I want to make a move and missclick on a wrong square. If your opponent wanted to take back on h8 with a rook, but stopped at h7. 99% chance it's a missclick, just let them. No sane player would play rh7 instead of rh8. Only time I don't allow missclicks is in bullet, makes no sense to takeback lol. – ALK003 Mar 12 at 11:12
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    After encountering people requesting takebacks for moves which appeared as mouse slips, and then making a completely different move, I'm disabling takebacks on every chess site I'm using. In OTB chess there is the touch move rule, which isn't enforced in online play. I've won and lost games due to mouse slips, they are simply part of online chess, even on top level. – Sleafar Mar 12 at 18:20
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If my opponent makes a mouse slip, I either offer a draw or continue with the best available move. It depends a bit on my mood. If I make a mouse slip, I just continue as usual and don't expect any favors in return. I can add that using a "click, click" method instead of drag and drop decreases the risk of mouse slips.

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  • I agree with you about "click, click" prevents mouse slip. – Wilfredo P Mar 9 '15 at 16:19
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There is no 'right' answer to this. Personally, my rule is that I never give takebacks and I never ask for them. If I make a mouseslip then I'll live with it and if I come up against someone who whines or complains because I won't give a takeback then I'll add them to my no-play list.

It's probably no accident that this attitude seems to be more common the higher up the rating lists you go.

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You can go either way, as many of the previous answers have suggested. If you feel like you shouldn't accept a draw (because you were winning, or because you don't feel obligated to offer a draw) that's perfectly acceptable. If you feel like offering a draw or allowing a takeback, that is your choice.

If it was a real game, there would be no takebacks because of the touch-move rule, and because you "accidentally" dropped a piece somewhere, then you would still be forced to play that move. So, them saying you should feel obligated to take the move back is unwarranted and at odds with what the rules in a real game would be.

TL;DR: Don't feel obligated to give a draw or make a dummy move because that isn't how a real game would work, but it's 100% your choice.

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This is a matter of preference- there is no hard and fast rule. Generally, if it's just like a random blitz game or something, I will just play the best move and continue. If it's a long game (and my opponent tells me it's a mouseslip) for a tournament, I'm more inclined to offer a takeback/make some dummy moves.

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I feel like there should NOT be a takeback because that is the opponent's problem and they need to deal with it. The pros of chess can easily recover from a mistake, and so should my opponent.

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I think there should be takeback because it was not my fault the computer messsed up. I am currently outraged. Be a good sport person and offer a takeback.

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