The Egyptian board game Senet.
Is a game of chance were you need to advance pieces through a 30 square maze.
Senet is nothing like chess.
It is a game of chance were dice are used when taking a turn to move.
It is more like shoots and ladders were you advance through a maze and the goal is to go from start to finish having landed on fortunate squares to make the task lighter.
This is not a war game and very weak on the tactical approach unless you have loaded dice.
It is a two player game that can be played with spirits of the dead or amongst the dead.
When a single player is depicted playing the game it is a sign that the player shown is playing
against some one that has passed into the afterlife, Or that a deceased player is playing his own soul and in these cases I do not know who rolls the dice or throws the sticks for the dead players and moves their pieces. .But it could be like the weegie or Ouija board where it is powered by a demonic entities and no batteries are needed to make the oracle move.
This game of chance has nothing that indicates it having a root connections to chess.
Sure it could have black and white pieces and was played on a board composed of squares, just like any other game could too. There are no battles between players in Senet, only small obstacles with your opponent returning you to a previous space on the board to advance or gain position over you.
Imagine chess played with dice and your goal is to get all your pieces from one end to the other, throw a little shoots and ladders into the mix and you have Senet on a larger board.
The game is supposed to resemble life’s struggle into the afterlife. Certainly much more advanced than chess in this aspect since there is no focus on spirituality in chess, only the desire to tactically send the other guys pieces to the afterlife the fastest rout possible.
Chess was not invented in Africa.