Believing this analysis without further investigation leads to a whole different conclusion. One needs to jump ahead to position at the end of the line:
What’s the point? Besides (1) Smith’s interesting observation about why the initial position is strategically won for White even though engines, even today, think the advantage is only minimal, (2) it shows that evaluations by very strong engines can be misleading, (3) it shows why the backward-stepping analysis is essential, (4) it shows that correspondence play at high levels is beyond most of us simply because we would look at the engine evaluation and believe it. Even if we didn’t believe it, how many of us would look at the initial position and evaluate it as strategically won for White? I guess that’s why we are such bad players…lack of understanding. (5) Finally, the real danger is you can easily get lead down a false path by following moves that the engine says lead to an OK position, but eventually you see its evaluation jump from your having a relatively meaningless half P deficit to it showing your position is so bad you can resign.