This is essentially the same as my question https://psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/23207/could-being-given-unlimited-tries-to-correctly-answer-an-open-ended-question-be except that it's specifically about chess. I'm linking that question because I'm not sure if it would be self plagiarism if I didn't because this question appears to be a derivative work based on it. I have other stuff on my mind and am not myself interested in devoting a lot of attention to chess and grew to dislike chess because of the detrimental effects it appeared to be having on my brain by my standards and very rarely play actual chess games these days, but am asking this because I think it could be useful for other people.
I think that sometimes when somebody takes a chess lesson or reads a chess book, it can give them some help but if they don't play in tournaments, the lessons and books alone will not be enough to make them a grandmaster because they will not be able to figure out the underlying high level abstract concepts that are the underlying reason the books and the lessons say what they say. On the other hand some people, if they regularly play in tournaments with a 90 minute base time and 30 second increments, might begin to notice some predictable pattern to the way their game play affects the game play of their opponent in future matches. The pattern is pretty much this. Every opponent with the same rating will have essentially the same probabilistic distribution on their style of play from the outset because they're randomly paired with somebody of similar rating and don't already know that person's style of play, and the combination of information about how each of your games went; which colour you played as in each match; and the rating of each of your opponents and the rating you had before the match determines what your rating will be changed to after the match. Also what your rating is determines how they will pair you in your next tournament. With the predictable pattern in how your game play determines the game play of your future opponents, their rating, and your rating, the brain can adapt to have you realize that although you can't get a high rating right away, you can get it eventually and then you can adopt the creative thinking approach for slowly figuring out the solution to the problem of how to eventually get a really high rating.
Is there any research on whether playing in tournaments in general is a really great way to become really good at chess? If so, do you know if it's the case that most people who regularly play in tournaments end up really good at chess?