@tempos It is possible. Many have run it on bare boards even the ESP 8226-01.
It is a while since I have used on ESP8226 (certainly I've not tried any >1.9 binaries) so can't offer much constructive help.
But, things to try if you have not already:-
1) Run "erase_flash" first. This always seemed to help get a clean flash of the binaries.
2) Wiring. A couple of gotchas for me: "CH_PD" needs to be pulled high (3.3v) and GPIO 0 needs to be high for normal use but pulled low (GND) for the purpose of flashing. Also your need that capacitor you say you will try. Otherwise the power to the board from your FTDI style adapter just is not stable enough. These are a couple of annoyances you don't need to consider with Node MCU.
You may have all this hand, but if not hope it helps.
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