Phish challenges fans to an online chess game on New Year’s Eve 2020

If you’re looking to spice up your socially distant New Year’s Eve 2020 with a bit of excitement, you could do a lot worse than take on the Phish Group in a game of chess.

Strange as it may sound, this is what the group is doing to welcome 2021 instead of their usual New Year’s Eve festivities in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Phish announced on Saturday that it has teams up with for a special showdown with fans as part of the regular streaming series they’ve been doing since the early days of the pandemic.

The Chess Challenge is more on the mark than it looks if you are unaware of your Phish lore. In 1995, the band staged a similar showdown with fans on their fall tour. At each show, the band shared their movement during the first set. Fans then gathered between sets to agree on their own move for that night.

Phish won the first game after the fans conceded in mid-November. But the fans fought back in the second game, with Phish conceding on New Year’s Eve 1995, their first year-end show at MSG. For 25 years, that 1-1 tie has stood – but it won’t last much longer.

To celebrate the news, Phish has put together a fun little fictional short film about the 1995 tour and their commitment to beating fans in the ultimate showdown of 2020.

This 95 NYE show is the one coming out of the archives on December 31, 2020 for Phish’s “Dinner and a Movie” ongoing series. The group started archive streams late March as the full reality of the nightmarish pandemic of 2020 set in. It was meant to give a taste of the community-centric fanbase to fans stuck at home, with the group sharing a video recording of an older show with a personally meaningful dinner recipe selected by one. of the four members of the group.

These are fun getaways, delivered weekly at first before moving to a monthly cadence in late summer. But this New Year’s plan is the most ambitious and interactive yet, with Phish planning to take on this live chess game.

Here’s how it will work:

Phish New Year’s Eve shows are three-set affairs, so expect plenty of face time with the band as they deliberate their moves.

That’s really all there is to it. If you wish to participate in the game, you must create a account (which is free) and then join “the official club on the public side” of the game, found here.

If you’d rather just watch the show and see the chess shenanigans unfold, the Dinner and Movie streams are posted on Official Phish YouTube Page. (And yes, they already have the recipe suggestions posted for New Year’s Eve.)

It’s worth mentioning that these dinner and movie shows offered giveaways and opportunities to donate, with all proceeds going to support various causes named before each stream. The final show of 2020 will benefit the WaterWheel Foundation, Phish’s own charitable initiative.

With no real New Year’s Eve parties in 2020, this seems like a fun way to spend the evening. Hoping that we can all get together safely again by December 31, 2021.

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