Reigning chess champion Gary Kasparov said yesterday he would like to play the next World Chess Championship entirely in the United States. The 27-year-old grandmaster said the United States can open "new horizons" for chess, adding that this country has the technical and commercial possibilities to make chess a sport of mass appeal. Kasparov played fellow Soviet Anatoly Karpov to a draw in the 24th and final game of the championship in Lyon, France, on Monday, successfully defending his title for the third time against Karpov. The two men played the first 12 games of the match in New York and the final 12 in Lyon. The players will receive their prizes today in closing ceremonies there. The next world championship final is to be held in 1993.

The Diva's Departure

Opera great Dame Joan Sutherland was showered with flowers New Year's Eve at her final performance, given at the Royal Opera House in London. The 64-year-old Australian diva had officially retired in a performance at the Sydney Opera House in October, but had expressed a desire to perform one last time on the London stage where she made her debut in 1952. She performed a special interlude from "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, which she sang with her friends, Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti and American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. At one point, when Pavarotti sang directly to her, Sutherland wept.

Ten-Gallon Rauschenberg

The Kennedy Center has announced that Texas-born artist Robert Rauschenberg has been commissioned to design a commemorative poster for the center's Texas Festival, to be held in June. The festival will coincide with the National Gallery of Art's Rauschenberg exhibition, which runs from May until September. "Mr. Rauschenberg's work is another measure of the extraordinary cultural diversity and artistic stature of Texas," said Kennedy Center Chairman James Wolfensohn. Kennedy Center trustee and Dallas businesswoman Caroline Rose Hunt arranged the collaboration with the Port Arthur native. A Long Sing-Along

Singer Bobby McFerrin led a 24-hour chant in San Francisco's Gothic-style Grace Cathedral to usher in the new year. "Singing for Your Life" began at 6 p.m. Sunday with two hours of McFerrin and his 10-person a cappella group, "Voicestra." They were then joined by a revolving crew of Bay Area singers. The theme of the event was a very California one: healing. "It was about anything you felt needed healing; mind, body, spirit, your relationships. A lot of concern expressed was for healing the Earth," said the Rev. Lauren Artress, canon pastor of the Episcopal cathedral. Artress, who organized the event with McFerrin, said more than 3,500 people passed through the church during the 24 hours. McFerrin sang and conducted for about eight hours, including the finale, which had 1,000 members of the public humming and chanting along until the bells struck 6. Then there was silence, applause and early cheers of "Happy New Year!" That's Sir to You

Mystery writer P.D. James became a baroness, actor Ian McKellen a knight, and romance novelist Barbara Cartland a dame of the British Empire. These were among the 995 titles bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II on New Year's Eve, at the recommendation of the prime minister, twice-yearly expressions of gratitude from the British government to some of its citizens. The list was drawn up by Margaret Thatcher before she left office, but was approved by her successor as prime minister, John Major. James, 70, long recognized as one of the top stylists in her genre, received the only life peerage on this year's list. McKellen is considered one of the best actors of his generation, and was said to be "very surprised and delighted with the honor." Though the awards have been criticized for having become part of the political patronage process, they are still prized. Barons and baronesses may sit in Parliament's unelected House of Lords, knights are addressed as "Sir," and recipients of the Order of the British Empire get to add the letters OBE after their names.