It may have evolved into its modern form there in about 600AD, but the game was known in many forms for millenia.
This chess board was found in Crete and dates to about 1600BC, and the game can still be played and indeed, a sort of version is still being played in the Mediterranean today.
I was interested to note that someone else had tracked the origins of some chess terms back to Crete!
The Labyrinth of Minos was created by Daedalus, who was imprisoned by the king. The Labrys is a double headed axe whose ritual purpose has always been to ‘kill the king’, the sole aim of chess! The ancient tradition of the ‘sacred king‘ who was married to the goddess and ritually slaughtered by the labrys, may be programmed into the game of chess.
The Phoenician goddess Car represents the ‘spiral force’, a lunar goddess traversing the heavens. The Egyptian god traversing the solar route, another ‘spiral force’ was depicted in a game board called Mehen. It maybe that a similar game board represented Car’s nightly journey.
It is true that the ancient knowledge was lost to the West for a long time, but it was not lost to the Arabs or the East.
The tradition that chess originated in India may not be the whole truth.
It is certainly true that a lot of ancient knowledge travelled to India along the trade routes from Arabia, and it is also true that such knowledge was treasured and not supressed, but that does not mean that it was fully understood.
Even if it was fully understood, it may still have been ‘just a game’ for the uninitiated, guarding secrets for the mystics and those in the know.
The Celts used to play a board game called ‘Wooden Wisdom‘, and that must have been before the current era.
I suspect it is the historians committing their old mistake of interpreting the oldest written record as the first human instance, ignoring as usual all of the millenia of unrecorded human history.