visayanbraindoctor: <In 1929 [sic], when Maróczy was approaching 60 years of age and had been participating in many important tournaments for a long time, the young Hungarian players began to say that he had passed into history and that the new players were superior to those of his day. They argued in the same way as do the young players of today with respect to the masters of 20 or 30 years ago.
Maróczy told me about it. “These young Hungarian players”, he said, “are nothing special. They play well but are at most players of the second or third rank. They do not know the real game, the great masters’ play; but they believe that they know a great deal and they say they are stronger than I. For my part, I am now old, I do not have the same interest as before, but their claims have annoyed me so much that I have told them I am ready to play a match with any of them.”
The outcome was that a match was organized between the old master and one of the young Hungarians [Géza Nagy], who had just [sic] won the national championship. The result of the match was total success for Maróczy, for his opponent lost five games without being able to score a single point.>
Now IMO this is the way to definitively determine who is stronger between two chess players.
In those days, there were no rating systems, and so if two players had an argument who was the better, they resolved their argument by playing a one-on-one match. And every one thought it was perfectly logical then. Chess by nature is a game between two individuals.
Even today, if player A has a higher rating then player B, and they had an argument who is really better, player B should just challenge player A to a one-on-one match. If player A loses, how can he say he is better then player B, in spite of his higher rating?
Topalov had a higher rating then Kramnik by a wide margin. They played a one-on-one matches for the world Title in 2006. Topalov lost. In spite of his higher rating then, only rating fans would say that Topa was a better player than Kramnik in 2006.