From time to time I will post something that may be of general interest to the club. Here is an excerpt from the US Chess FAQ (http://www.uschess.org/content/view/7328/28/), emphasis mine:
Chessplayers often worry or obsess over their rating, because it determines pairings, which tournaments they can play in and reflects their current playing strength, so much that one professional player compared losing 10 rating points to losing 10 liters of blood! (This is actually MORE blood than the average human body contains.)
In many tournaments you can only play if you are over or under a certain rating. For instance, there are Under 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800, 2000 and 2200 sections in the some of the larger tournaments in America. The prizes are as high as $10,000 for the winner of each section. This leads to occasional “sand-bagging,” losing points on purpose to lower your rating artificially in order to play in a weaker level tournament. This is an offense that could get you kicked out of US Chess for life. On the other hand, telling strangers at tournaments that your rating is 2600 is a good way to earn their total respect for the entirety of the elevator ride- until your 12-year-old daughter shows up and says “Daddy, how could you miss Ne5?!!” For an extensive listing of US Chess Rated Tournaments please check “Clubs & Tournaments” category located on our homepage then click on “Upcoming Tournaments”. We offer listings by state as well as “National Events”, “Grand Prix Events” and “Foreign Events”.