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AUPAIR, Installation and Setup

  1. Create a work folder, eg C:/AUPAIR
  2. Put the two programs AU613.EXE and touprint.exe in this folder. You can get the programs from the two links here.
    AU613.EXE and touprint.exe
    Right click and choose Save link as, and then navigate to your AUPAIR folder to save it there.
This work folder will in time fill up with TOU files from tournaments. Every now and then, eg once a year, tidy the folder up, eg by creating folders for 2010, 2011 etc, and moving old TOU files to the year folders. Or just delete old TOU files. You might also like to set up a shortcut to AUPAIR on your desktop. However if you have a 64 bit operating system this shortcut will not work. See the following.

64 bit operating system

You can skip this section if you have an older computer or one specifically set up as 32 bit. If you buy a new computer it will often have Windows 7 or Windows 8, and a 64 bit operating system. When you first set up such a computer it might ask you whether you want to set it up as 64 bit or 32 bit. I recommend that you choose 32 bit, so that AUPAIR will work easily, and your printer still works. If you use graphics applications like Photoshop, video editing, games, CAD, etc., you should go 64-bit, but then use the DOSBOX workaround described below.

If your computer has already been set up as 64 bit, it is impossible to revert to 32 bit. If you attempt to run AUPAIR, you will get a message like "The version of this file is not compatible with the version of windows you're running. Check your computer's system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher."
Unfortunately AUPAIR cannot be recompiled for 64 bit, so one way to deal with this is to use a DOS Emulator.

  1. Go to the web page at Dosbox.com and download the Windows Win32 installer. Run the Installation.
  2. Make a careful note of (a) where DOSBox is installed and (b) where you have installed (or will install) AUPAIR, eg C:\AUPAIR.
  3. Use Windows Explorer to navigate to the folder where DosBox is installed. Click on the file Dos Box 0.74 Options.bat. The Notepad text editor will open with a configuration file with many scary lines in it. Leave all the early bits alone, but put three lines at the end,
    mount C C:\AUPAIR
    and save this configuration.
From then on, you click on the DosBox icon which should have been installed on your desktop or your start menu, and it should flash up some opening screens but then give you the usual AUPAIR program.


Printing pairings or results is handled by the auxiliary Windows program touprint.exe and you should set up a shortcut to this on your desktop, to use when you are ready to print.

Operating Instructions for AuPair

by Barry Harridge (barry.harridge@gmail.com).

The Basics

If things go wrong

Other features

The Basics


  1. Switch on your computer and let Windows load.
  2. Call up the Start Menu by clicking on the start button or pressing the Windows key.
  3. Go to the Scrabble Folder then AU PAIR.
  4. The AU PAIR program should start.


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  2. In the FILE menu (top left corner), arrow down to NEW and press ENTER.
  3. Use BACKSPACE to delete the date and type in the title of the event and press ENTER. Include a date (or at least a year) if there is space, e.g. 2002 DECATHON.
  4. Use the arrow keys to highlight the ranking criterion e.g. WINS AND SPREAD and press ENTER.
  5. Type in the name of one section and press ENTER (You can add other divisions later).
  6. NOTE: 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, i.e. 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 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. 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. 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.
  6. To sort the players alphabetically, press ESC to invoke the menu bar, and use the RIGHT ARROW to scroll across to the OTHER menu. Use the DOWN ARROW to move to SORT ALPHABETIC, and press ENTER. This makes it easy to find names later when you are entering scores.


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  2. In the FILE menu, arrow down to SAVE TOU FILE and press ENTER.
  3. Type in the filename and path of the tournament (e.g. c:\aupair\03ESS.TOU) and press ENTER. The filename should be eight characters at most.
  4. It is a good idea to SAVE EARLY and SAVE OFTEN!
  5. A good technique is to name the file say 03ESS01.TOU after the first round, 03ESS02.TOU after the second round and so on.


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  2. In the FILE menu, arrow down to ADD EXTRA SECTION and press ENTER.
  3. Follow steps 1 to 3 from the section entitled “TO ENTER THE PLAYER’S NAMES.”
  4. SAVE.


  1. Within sections (e.g. ADVANCED), Press PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN to switch between games.
  2. To move between sections (e.g. between ADVANCED and INTERMEDIATE, press CTRL+PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN. The section name is visible on the bottom of the screen (e.g. ADVANCED GAME 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


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

  • Getting the computer to do it

    1. Press ESC to invoke the menu.
    2. Use the right arrow to highlight DRAW.
    3. Use the down arrow to highlight AUSTRALIAN DRAW[1] and press ENTER.
    4. Shortcut: Alt+S for the Australian (Swiss) Draw.
    5. The program will keep track of the starts throughout the tournament. The person to start each game is indicated by an asterisk (*) next to his or her name on the printout.
    6. The games for the first round will be drawn.
  • A manually prepared first round
    You need to tell the computer what arrangements you made for the first round.

    1. If you intend to use balanced starts, give players a definite rule for who starts in round 1, e.g. "alphabetically first" or "left column of the prepared chart".
    2. Double check to see that there are the correct names in each section.
    3. While round 1 is in progress, enter opponents : (i) press the right arrow (ii) indicate the opponent by typing in a four letter nickname following the strict rule first letter of first name then first three letters of the surname. e.g. to enter Samuel Johnson as an opponent, use SJOH (a hint window will appear to remind you). 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.
    4. If subsequent rounds are to use balanced starts, you must indicate who went first. You do this by pressing .. i.e. full stop TWICE. Each time you press .. the function toggles between 3 modes i.e. first it will indicate that player 1 starts, then player 2, then that no-one starts.


  1. Arrow UP and DOWN to highlight the relevant players.
  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 Player A (e.g. 405) and press ENTER.
  4. 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.
  5. Type the score of Player B (e.g. 398) and press ENTER.
  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.

After all the scores have been entered and the tournament has been saved, calculate the draw as follows:

  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu.
  2. Use the RIGHT ARROW to highlight DRAW.
  3. Use the DOWN ARROW to highlight Australian draw and press ENTER.
  4. The program will say FRESH STARTS WITH GAME 1. Press ENTER.
  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 the right arrow to highlight PRINT.
  3. Press ENTER.
This actually invokes the separate program touprint.exe.
  • You have to find the TOU file
  • There may be a delay
  • Your web browser eg Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer will display the draw.
  • Print it, being careful to choose the correct Printer.
  • You can experiment with layout, eg increasing magnification, omitting headers.
There are two drawbacks. One is that it won't work at all using DosBox for a 64 bit system. The second disadvantage is that if you leave the browser open after printing, you cannot return to using AUPAIR again until you close the browser. There is a solution which fixes both problems. Put a shortcut to touprint.exe on your desktop or command bar, and use this when you want to print.

At the end of the tournament, save the summary of results as follows:

  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu bar.
  2. In the FILE menu, arrow down to SAVE RESULTS and press ENTER.
  3. Type in the filename and path for the results (e.g. c:\aupair\2002DECATHON.RES) and press ENTER. Results should always have a .RES extension.
Note: This is just the summary of results, suitable for later printing or mailing to say a Scrabble mailing list and is to some extent optional. It is distinct from the mandatory step B4. Save the tournament file


  1. Press ESC to invoke the menu.
  2. Arrow down 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. Arrow down to LOAD TOU FILE and press ENTER.
  3. All saved TOU files will be listed in reverse chronological order.
  4. Arrow down to 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.
  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.
  5. You may have to alphabetise the players again.

W2. MOVE A PLAYER TO A SECTION HIGHER OR LOWER 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.


  1. Move onto the misspelled name with the ARROW keys.
  2. Press the LEFT ARROW 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 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 default way of dealing with an assigned bye from version 5.10 onwards is to designate the allocated bye 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)


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 his 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 the right arrow key 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 the right arrow. 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.


The ranking criteria are seen on screen, e.g. each player will have Rank Win Agg or Rank Win Mar. If you discover that this is not what was intended, you can change it by going to the menu item Other, Method mar/agg. Do this with great caution. It is not be fair to players if criteria are changed unexpectedly.

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 Designated win or designated loss 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. This will affect placings but not ratings.


The program offers several pairing methods :
  • Australian Draw An Australian variant of Swiss draw, where players are matched against their peers (according to current standings) but rematches are avoided. It has sometimes been described as King of the Hill with specified repeats =0. The dialogue says Fresh start with game [1] and you just hit the ENTER key to accept this. This method is the one most preferred in Australian tournaments, and has a keyboard shortcut of Alt-S.
    • Australian Draw with a fresh start In later games of a long tournament the principle of avoiding of rematches may disturb the peer matching too much. You can override this. For instance in a tournament of 21 games played over three days, you could say Fresh start with game 7 throughout the second day, and Fresh start with game 14 throughout the third day.
  • Lagged Australian This can be used for particular rounds from round 3 onward. For round x, it pairs using standings for round x-2, but takes into account start information and previous round pairings for all rounds up to x-1. The point of this is to allow pairings to be posted before all results from round x-1 are yet in, and hence avoid time delays. The posted pairings will display rankings from round x-2, whether or not some data are available for round x-1. Lagged Australian may also use a fresh start from a designated round, as explained above.
  • King of the Hill This method matches players against peers (1 plays 2, 3 plays 4 etc) without worrying about rematches.
  • Chance This is a purely random draw. It has little merit except perhaps for the first round to avoid accusations of bias.
  • Round Robin This prepares a complete schedule where each player plays everyone else exactly once. You can ask to do fewer or less games to fit to the time available, but compromises are then made, and it is really preferable to adjust the number of players in each section, so that the required games fit within the available time. If players are entered into a section in rating order, the closest matches will be played in the last round. Once you have prepared a round robin you can, if you wish, print out the whole schedule (Menu item : Print : draw all rounds). Start information may be strange (an unfixed bug). Try redoing the round robin.
  • Halves top v bottomThis matches the top half against the bottom half. Some TDs like it for a first round when players are listed in rating order, and there is no objection to strict monotonicity. If it is used for later rounds, the opponents cycle along by one. This may be used to do a teams schedule. Doing the first two rounds by Halves is a quick way to start a tournament which will continue using a lagged draw.
  • Quarters 1 v 2, 3 v 4 Another notion for the first round of a long open tournament, when there is a great disparity in ratings.
  • Special This is a back door to allow an external program to do something special, eg to implement another pairing method. More news on this later.


One dilemma in Australia is where some players wish to play on a rotating board, but others wish to play with the board fixed (usually by sitting at 90 degrees to each other, with the board at 45 degrees to each player). A compromise allows a pool of rotating boards to be permanently set up at particular tables.
  1. Set up the rotating boards on the lowest numbered tables for each section (eg tables 1, 2, 3 and 4).
  2. Mark players who opt to play on a rotating board by editing their name (left-arrow) to put @R at the end.


Australian Scrabble® Players Association (ASPA)
© Copyright 2001-05 www.scrabble.org.au info@scrabble.org.au Last Updated: 28 June 2005