A common designation for one of the opponents in various two-player
board games (see also white).
While White's pieces are virtually always white
or ivory in color, Black's come in black or
almost any other color.
Some properties of Black in various games:
Black has the disadvantage of moving second;
in master-level play, this can be significant enough that
finishing with a draw can be quite satisfactory.
As with checkers, Black's pieces sometimes come
in very distracting colors -- particularly incomprehensibly,
bright red. You only see this in really cheap (plastic and
cardboard) sets. On the other extreme, expensive sets are
made of varied materials, with jade being a popular
material for Black's pieces. Such sets are mostly
decorative, like many grand pianos and telescopes, but
even less likely to be used because of excessive ornateness.
Since Black starts with two bishops, one
which moves only on light squares and the other only on
the dark squares, they are referred to not as black bishops
but as light- or dark-squared bishops (since the pieces themselves
are the same color).
Black moves first in Go, and this is considered to be a major
advantage. Since Go uses a numerical scoring system, this advantage,
called komi, is quantified at 5.5 points (using the standard 19x19
game board; I assume it has a smaller value with the smaller boards).
Terrace gives Black the first move. This presumably
gives em an advantage similar in nature to that
of White in chess; this game being only a few years old as of
this writing and thus not extensively studied as the ancient games
have been, the exact benefit to Black is probably not
as well understood.