The other day I was playing chess with my friend who constantly went back on his move and ask to restart again whenever he made a wrong move/decision. What's the idiomatic verb/phrase to describe his action of going back on his move?
I've seen takeback used to describe this action of taking back a move in Chess.
Definition on Wiktionary:
takeback (plural takebacks)
- The act of taking back or reclaiming anything
- (chess) The withdrawal of the previous move, as in practice games.
I've also seen Takeback Game used to describe a game of Chess where takebacks are allowed acording to the rules.
For more examples, you can check out the usage of this word on the Chess Stack Exchange site.
Another word that might work here to describe your friend's action can be undid or undo.
Renege is often used if a single move is taken back.
: deny, renounce
1 obsolete : to make a denial
2 : revoke
3 : to go back on a promise or commitment
Other sources, including Wiktionary include:
In a card game, to break one's commitment to follow suit when capable.
I've seen it used in other games, including chess, when a person makes (or attempts to make) a move discovered to be illegal.