I think if the bodacious Blackmar Diemer Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxd4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3) can be referred to as a "high school for tactics" then the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) can at least be dubbed a "pre-school for tactics".
Every once-in-a-while I wonder if playing the Jerome is helping or hurting my chess play. Then I play a game like the following, and I stop worrying (for a while, anyhow).
I had the White pieces in a Four Knights game played online at FICS. If my opponent and I were stronger players, and if we were not playing blitz, it might be possible to talk of White having the slightest advantage due to his Bishop versus Black's Knight, or White's control of the e-file. As it was, we were both just trying to figure out what to do next.
It looks like Black wants to relieve his Queen from the task of guarding the pawn at c7. I found a way to keep him busy.
23.h4 Nf7 24.Re6 Nd6
I could hear Bill Wall's voice in my head saying "Don't calculate, just play the sac!" It is clear that White can get three pawns for the piece, and, at worst, probably a draw by repetition. Of course, there could be even more. No reason to waste time deliberating.
Already the critical error.
After the game Houdini suggested 25...Nf5!?, which led to 26.Rxc6 Nxe7 27.Re6 Ng6 28.Bc3 Nxh4 when White can tighten the pressure with 29.Re7, but his advantage would be better piece placement, not greater material. (This is how the "big boys" play.) White would have increased his edge, but there would be plenty of game left.
The game is already a mess, but this move, attacking White's Queen, is also a bit of a self-block, although the better 26...Re8 is not a whole lot better.
I had seen this far when playing 22.Qe7, a remarkable feat in and of itself for me. When I arrived at this position, I had enough time left that I could then see my way to a win – not the best or the fastest, but a win.
27.Qg6+ Kh8 28.Qxh6+ Kg8 29.Rg6+
Sharper readers will see 29.Qg5+ Kh8 (29...Kf7 30.Qg6#) 30.Rh6 checkmate.
29...Kf7 30.Qg7+ Ke8 31.Re6+ Kd8 32.Qxf8+ Ne8 33.Rxc6 Black resigned
I was actually a bit relieved to see, after the game, that Houdini could find a "hole" in my plan – I wasn't quite ready to consider myself a "tactical maniac" yet, even if I do play the Jerome Gambit!