AUPAIR distro
Files in the installation
How to install

Many years ago the AUPAIR program was written for the old MSDOS operating system which has been superseded by many versions of Microsoft Windows. It can still work by emulation using vDos.

The software you need is contained in the If you are looking at this page on your Windows computer, click the button above to download the installer program. When you run it, it will ask you where to put the files. Choose a work folder such as C:\AUPAIR

The tournament software is AU616.EXE but in a modern Windows environment it can only be run using the vDos helper program. You may find it convenient to create a shortcut to vDos on the Windows desktop, naming it AUPAIR. The text file autoexec.txt is used by vDos to start and use AU616.EXE but you can edit this if you wish.

The touprint.exe is what produces the listing of standings and pairings. You can use it as a standalone program but it may be easier to use by just asking to Print within the AUPAIR software. This version does not use dialogues, it just grabs the last TOU file that has been saved.

An older version of touprint.exe asked lots of questions so was harder to use, but some may prefer it for example for a prearranged draw like a round robin. Download the old touprint.exe

There is another program tinyperl.exe which is not yet used for anything.

The guide below is also in your folder as a printable PDF document

Operating Instructions for AuPair

The Basics

If things go wrong

Other features

The Basics


The recommended way which works on modern Windows computers is via the MSDOS emulator called vDos. The installer, since February 2022 will create a desktop shortcut and way of using the Windows start menu.


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  2. In the File menu (top left corner), ↓ to New file and press ENTER.
  3. You will be asked for the Date and then the Title of the Event e.g. Empire Bay
  4. You are now ready to prepare the player lists for each section. Recommended names for sections are MASTERS, ADVANCED, INTERMEDIATE AND RECREATION, or A, B, C, D. The program provides quick switching between sections using Alt-M etc for such section names.


  1. Type in each person's name and surname preferably in descending rating order, ie with the top rated player first, then the second rated player and so on. After typing each name, press ENTER.
  2. If you make a mistake, leave it for the moment. It is best to fix up all names for a section once you have the correct number of players in this section.
  3. The point of using descending rating order is that you can then ask the computer to do the draw for the first round. Doing so in this order means that if you are using the Australian Draw the draw will find suitable pairings for the first round. The section is divided into four quadrants and each player in quadrant one will be matched with a randomly selected opponent from quadrant three and each player from quadrant two will be matched with a random opponent from quadrant four (although you can choose another way if you prefer). Designated byes will not be respected, but must be set manually after the draw.
  4. If you cannot find any way to avoid having an odd number of players in a section, one player each round will have a bye. Do not put in a dummy such as A Bye. The program will accept an odd number of players in a section, and it will use a rational technique to determine who has a bye in each round. See the Coping with byes section below for more details.
  5. When you have entered all the players in the section, press ENTER. It will ask This section is all done? N so change N to Y if you really have all the names in this section.
  6. To sort the players alphabetically, press ESC to invoke the menu bar, and use → to scroll across to the Other menu. Use ↓ to move to Sort Alphabetic, and press ENTER. This makes it easy to find names later when you are entering scores.


  1. Even if you have only entered one section, you are advised to save the file.Remember the motto "Save early and save often".
  2. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  3. In the File menu, ↓ to Save TOU file and press ENTER.
  4. Type in the filename eg 22EMPIRE. The filename should be eight characters at most and not include spaces. It will be saved with an extension .TOU eg 22EMPIRE.TOU


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  2. In the File menu, choose Add extra section and press ENTER.
  3. Follow steps 1 to 3 from the section entitled "B3 TO ENTER THE PLAYER'S NAMES."


  1. Within sections (e.g. ADVANCED), Press PgUp/PgDn to switch between games.
  2. To move between sections (e.g. between ADVANCED and INTERMEDIATE, press CTRL+PgUp/PgDn. The section name and round is visible on the bottom of the screen (e.g. A 1).
  3. Shortcut: ALT M, Alt A, Alt I and ALT R will move between MASTERS, ADVANCED, INTERMEDIATE AND RECREATIONAL SECTIONS. Alt A, Alt B, Alt C or Alt D will move between sections A, B, C, D


Each section is prepared separately. Move between sections to do this.

You might want the computer to do it, or you might prepare the first round manually.


  1. Use arrow keys ↑ and ↓ to highlight one of the players, not necessarily the first on the result slip.
  2. A good shortcut is to type the first letter of the name of a player whose score has not been entered e.g. typing S will bring up players with first name S whose scores have not yet been entered.
  3. Type the score of the highlighted player (e.g. 405) and press ENTER.
  4. Type the score of the opponent (e.g. 398) and press ENTER.
  5. After the second score has been entered you will see a confirmation message about who won, and the spread (ie the winning margin).
    When players have been told to show their calculation of spread on the result sheet, this provides an extra check against poorly written scoresheets or operator error.
  6. If the score is under 100 (it can happen!), type in a zero before the score, e.g. 098 and sigh loudly.
  7. SAVE regularly.


  1. Select the appropriate section.
  2. Press ESC and select High Word from the menu
  3. When prompted, type the word, the score and the name of the player.
Unfortunately there is no way to permanently record an identical high score. Nor is it easy to replace a wrong high score other than replacing it with a higher one.


You can check what sections are ready for the next draw by looking at the summary at the right. For each section P F D shows how many players, how many rounds finished and how many rounds drawn. If a round is not finished you might have overlooked a result slip. Press ? to see who is missing. After all the scores have been entered and the tournament has been saved, prepare the draw as follows:
  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu.
  2. Use → to highlight DRAW.
  3. Use ↓ to highlight Australian draw and press ENTER.
  4. The program will say FRESH STARTS WITH GAME 1 Press ENTER. The only reason to change from 1 to say 12 is in a long tournament where you want a reset which will allow rematches from opponents from rounds before round 12.
  5. The games for the next round will be drawn.
  6. Shortcut: Alt+S, where S = Swiss.
  7. SAVE.


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  2. Use → to highlight Print.
  3. Press ENTER.
This actually invokes the separate program touprint.exe which creates a local web page called standings.html ready for display or printing. If there is no prospective draw, it will print standings, which may be useful at the end of the tournament.


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu.
  2. Use ↓ to QUIT and press ENTER as many times as necessary for the program to close.
  3. Shortcut : Alt X


  1. If the menu isn't already visible, press ESC to invoke the menu.
  2. Select Load TOU file and press ENTER.
  3. All saved TOU files will be listed in reverse chronological order.
  4. Use arrow keys to go the tournament you want and press ENTER.

If things go wrong


  1. Adding or deleting players should be done BEFORE performing the draw for round 1.
    It is unwise to publish the draw for round 1 ahead of time such as the night before. Often circumstances on the day require adding or deleting.
  2. To add a player, press the PLUS (+) key.
  3. Type in the new player's name and press ENTER.
  4. To delete a player, press the MINUS (-) key.
    If for some reason a draw had already been done for round 1, you will not be able to delete the player unless you first go to that player and press Ctrl-L to mark them as absent. Or you may want to blank all pairings for that section, add or subtract players, and redraw.
  5. It is wise to Save the new TOU file and Load it afresh to fix glitches.


This will only work before any pairings have been created.
  1. Highlight the player
  2. Use the > or < key to move them lower or higher in the list. When they reach the bottom of the list for the current section they will be moved down to the section below.
  3. It is wise to Save the new TOU file and Load it afresh to fix glitches.


  1. Move onto the misspelled name with the ↓ and ↑ keys.
  2. Press ← key, and use the BACKSPACE key and correct the name.
  3. Press ENTER.


The program does the best possible job with byes, but in truth there is no just way to compare players who have played different numbers of games. A bye may arise due to an odd number of players starting, or a player dropping out later.
  1. The computer will accept an odd number of players in a section. Unlike earlier versions of the program it is NOT necessary to enter a dummy player. The features below will NOT work if you mark a bye by playing a player against a fictitious player such as A BYE.
  2. The on screen display shows a bye player highlighted in a different colour. The opponent is the player himself or herself.
  3. The ASPA convention is that an allocated bye counts as a win with a spread of +1. This will improve that player's placing in the tournament but will count for nothing for ratings purposes.
  4. A tournament director may overrule the default status by designating a particular nongame to be a designated win, loss or draw. (Keyboard shorcuts Ctrl-W, Ctrl-L or Ctrl-D or menu item Edit)
  5. The touprint program which shows standings will show how standings have been calculated, including any effect of byes.


Sometimes a draw is prepared, and then you are told that a score was entered wrongly. If the tournament director believes that it is warranted, you can do a redraw. Just ask for the draw again. The program will warn you that there are already opponents allocated for that round and ask you to confirm that you wish to undo the current allocation. You usually do not need to blank out the draw already shown for this round, but you can if you wish by the menu item Draw: Blank this round.


You may need to manually adjust the record of who started e.g. (i) if you enter the first round manually or (ii) if players made a mistake in who actually started.
  1. Look at the on screen display. The player starting will have a dot (.) next to his or her name. Or there may be no dot at all.
  2. To change this, type .. (two dots). Every time you type .. the function toggles between 3 states, i.e. first it will indicate that player 1 starts, then player 2, then that no-one starts.


  1. If the dropout is before any games have been played, overrule any prepared pairings with a manual pairing to get game one under way. If you want to allow for the possibility that the missing Joe Blow may later appear and will be permitted to play, you can put his result for game 1 as a designated loss (Ctrl-L or Edit: Losing nongame). If his absence causes another player to have a bye that round, it is recommended that that player be given a designated win. The tournament director will decide who will be given this favour. Note that this procedute will give the correct ratings outcome that of no rating change for Joe Blow or his ostensible opponent in game 1. For each, it is a nongame that gives no information about Scrabble playing ability and thus should not change ratings.
  2. If Joe Blow drops out in round 3 say, the procedure is much the same. For that round and subsequent rounds, the operator must remember to mark his absence in that round by Ctrl-L (designated loss) before requesting the draw. If you want to replace Joe Blow with a newly assigned standby player, enter him or her using the plus key.

    If Joe Blow's absence causes a bye, the computer will as usual choose the lowest placed player who has not already had a bye and give them a designated win.

    As before this will affect placings but not ratings.

  3. Note that the apparently easier way of coping, by just putting artificial scores for Joe Blow and his opponent will have ratings consequences which are capricious in magnitude, and of no validity for assessing ability.
  4. Putting Ctrl-L, a loss, for a missing player also has the nice consequence that in later rounds you don't have to remember to set it. The program will ask "Is Joe Blow still missing?".
It is important that the National Ratings Officer is notified of full details.


Sometimes an ad hoc pairing is needed to cope with e.g. a dropout. Press → to enter an opponent. You indicate the name of the opponent with a four letter abbreviation which is the first letter of the first name followed by the first three letters of the surname. If there are scores already entered, you won't be allowed to change the opponent. If you are absolutely sure that you want to change the opponent, despite scores being present, enter 000 and 000 as the scores for both existing players before trying again with →. A little window will show the pairing. It may be wrong because of ambiguity, and you may be able to fix this by entering the pairing for the intended opponent instead.

Other features


  1. ESC (MENU) displays a menu. Choose items using the arrow keys or pressing the highlighted letter
  2. Alt M, Alt A, Alt I or Alt R selects section M, A, I or R. It works similarly for A, B, C, D.
  3. @A, @B etc selects a section starting with A etc., similar to the Alt-A method above but @A etc will work for all 26 letters of the alphabet.
  4. Alt S (SWISS DRAW) : equivalent to the Menu item Draw: Australian Draw
  5. Alt P (PRINT MATCHINGS) : equivalent to the Menu item Print : draw Next round.
  6. Alt X (EXIT) :equivalent to the Menu item File : Quit
  7. Ctrl-W or Ctrl-L or Ctrl-D Designated win or designated loss or draw for a nongame. This will mark that player as playing against himself (ie a nongame) but with a decreed win or loss by one point or a half game with notional score of 350. This will affect placings but not ratings.


The program offers several pairing methods :