I'm afraid its time for my two pennies worth on this one. I have been on here for about a year and my rating too fluctuates somewhat (within 150 points or so normally) and I also had my all time high of 1,491 after just starting on the site, which was artificially high as I held back losses to see how high I could go. I wasn't aware of the impact that this would have on my rating graph as I was new.
I am now aware of how my rating graph reacts and have taken losses in games to get into an additional mini-banded tourni, but never below 1300 for a considerable while and more likely ones at the higher level of my ability in the 1400's. I regularly lose these tourni's, but have been honoured to win three so far. One from when I was very new.
Just so you know about me!
Anyway, sandbagging is, in my and wikipedia's definition cheating :
And I should like to draw the attention of those here present (should have been a lawyer) to Tournament number 2394, a rated duel tournament for those between 1300-1400. Again, please spot the anomaly (round 4, group 1 is a small clue!).
We have a player rated 1800+ in the tourni, now this may have been a new member to the site, who was unaware of their true rating, which is easily forgivable and as stated previously a good learning experience. However, they have been on the site as a member for nearly two years and have reached the rating of 1,977 at one point and are regularly bouncing up and down in the ratings.
When they entered the tourni they 'knew' that they were artificially lower than the banding dictated and yet still entered. Perhaps within the rules of the site legally, but certainly cheating based on the wikipedia definition refered to.
They are incredibly likely to win the tournament, which will provide them with one more trophy on their wall, but to what end? It will shout 'loser' to all who see it (hopefully!). How could they take away from their dishonest approach? Resign this round within the first two moves of the game so that they do not have a rating decrease and give teh other people in the tournament a fair and honest chance.