The judges will, we have been assured, only be considering novels “unsurpassed in their quality and ambition.”
Tolstoy is unsurpassed in combining the grand with the trivial, that is, the small details which make up life.
1775, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of surpass.
1550s, from Middle French surpasser "go beyond, exceed, excel," from Old French sur- "beyond" (see sur-) + passer "to go by" (see pass (v.)). Related: Surpassed; surpassing.