Originally posted by SmittyG
My take on this might be a little simplistic, but here goes. I come here to play chess against people, not against numbers. If your rating is legit, congrats, whatever it is. If not, then I hope getting the phoney number did something for you; I'm not impressed. Win, lose, or draw, as long as the chess was interesting, nothing else matters.
I think the concern is not so much tainting the ratings (which is annoying, but doesn't affect anyone,) but more that if someone is willing to cheat to boost their rating, then that same person is likely to cheat and use a program in a legitimate game.
I too come here to play chess against people, not against numbers. However, I also don't come here to play chess against computers, and I'm afraid that's what might happen if I play against someone who is willing to cheat to artificially increase a rating that doesn't even mean anything in the first place.
Personally, I'd like to keep a list of known cheaters on the site. If the perpetrator fesses up, admits that they cheated but promises to never do it again, their name leaves the list (unless they do it again, and it goes back up.) Otherwise their name stays there, and will serve as a warning to other players to avoid challenges from this person, since they will likely be a cheat.